ST. LOUIS -- Normally a team that takes a 6-0 lead after the first two innings should not have to worry too much about the game's final outs.
Try telling that to the Philadelphia Phillies, who had to sweat the last two innings of their 10-9 win over the Cardinals on Thursday night.
"Suspense is always good, as long as it comes out right," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "There was some fingernail-biting going on."
Manuel and the Phillies could not have been certain the night was going to turn out positively until closer Jonathan Papelbon struck out Daniel Descalso and retired Steven Hill on a fly to center with the potential tying run on first in the bottom of the ninth.
After all, they already had watched the Cardinals come back from the 6-0 deficit, and another 7-4 disadvantage, before they finally were able to stop another potential comeback.
"You never can count that offense out," said Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino, who drove in three runs. "They came back, but we persevered. That shows what kind of team we have. I think we can be a good team. It's just a matter of us going out there and doing it."
Rookie second baseman Freddy Galvis also drove in three runs for the Phillies, who knocked the Cardinals out of first place in the NL Central for the first time all season. St. Louis fell a half-game behind the Cincinnati Reds.
In the first game between the two teams since last October's NL Division Series, the Cardinals could not catch the Phillies again after tying the game at 7 in the fifth inning.
The Cardinals, who scored seven or more runs for the 15th time this season in 45 games, got home runs from Matt Holliday, David Freese and Yadier Molina but could not come through with the key hit when they needed it in the final innings.
With the Cardinals trailing 10-9 in the eighth, Phillies reliever Antonio Bastardo walked Holliday on a 3-2 pitch to put runners on first and second with two outs, with NL home run leader Carlos Beltran coming to the plate. Bastardo got out of the jam by striking out Beltran on a 2-2 pitch, clearing the way for Papelbon to earn his 13th save in the ninth.
"The offense fought in every at-bat," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.
Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook had allowed only one run in the first three innings of his first eight starts this season before the Phillies tagged him for six runs in the first two innings. He wound up yielding eight hits and six runs in 3 2/3 innings.
"They were able to get hits, and it kind of snowballed on me," Westbrook said. "I just didn't do a very good job and put us in a hole. It's tough to come back from that, and our offense did a good job. I just didn't do my job tonight."
NOTES: Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman will undergo surgery on his right knee Friday morning in Houston. The operation had been set for Thursday, but it was delayed because of a conflict in the surgeon's schedule. ... Allen Craig, one of seven Cardinals on the disabled list, took live batting practice and fielded grounders before the game. He will be eligible to be activated June 1. ... Catcher Carlos Ruiz was back in the starting lineup for the Phillies despite being hit on his right wrist with a foul ball in Wednesday night's game. He hit in the cleanup spot in the order for the second night in a row, the first two times he has hit in that spot in his career. ... Shortstop Jimmy Rollins returned to the Phillies lineup after missing the last three games after his wife gave birth to a baby daughter. He showed up at Busch Stadium at noon to take early batting practice. ... Former Cardinals and Phillies left-handed reliever J.C. Romero signed a minor league contract with the Orioles. ... Philadelphia left-hander Cliff Lee (0-2) will make his seventh start of the season in Friday night's game, still looking for his first win of the year. Right-hander Kyle Lohse (5-1) will start for the Cardinals.