ST. LOUIS - The Phillies left St. Louis with a whimper and a 4-0 loss to the Cardinals on Thursday afternoon.
The Cardinals ended up taking three of four in the series to drop the Phillies to 16-13. The Phillies were two outs from a win on Wednesday night before the Cards rallied for two runs to win in the bottom of the ninth.
The Phillies entered the day scoring just 3.21 runs per game, trailing only Atlanta. They had just five hits in the game, three in the first eight innings.
Starting pitching report
Jerad Eickhoff left trailing 1-0 after allowing a walk and a single in the seventh inning. Both of those runners eventually scored against the Phillies' bullpen.
Eickhoff (1-4) gave up a two-out homer in the first inning then delivered five scoreless frames before the Cards rallied in the seventh.
Eickhoff struck out just two, a season low.
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Cardinals lefty Jaime Garcia (2-2) was brilliant. He gave up just two singles over seven shutout innings. He walked none and struck out five. Garica had a lot quick innings. He threw just 82 pitches, 61 of which were strikes.
The Phillies are batting just .166 (32 for 193) against lefties this season. That's the worst mark in the majors and not encouraging with two lefties looming in Miami.
Elvis Araujo picked up Eickhoff in the seventh. He walked a batter to load the bases. That runner eventually scored. Colton Murray finished out the inning but not before giving up a two-run double to left.
Trevor Rosenthal closed it out for the Cardinals.
At the plate
The Phils did not get a hit until Cameron Rupp led off the fifth with a single against Garcia. Tyler Goeddel had a single in the inning. Pinch-hitter David Lough tripled and died on third in the eighth.
Brandon Moss crushed a 462-foot homer against Eickhoff with two outs in the first inning. It was the longest by a lefty hitter in the 10-year history of new Busch Stadium.
Stephen Piscotty salted the game away with a two-run double in the seventh.
David Hernandez got three outs in the eighth inning. His left knee bent awkwardly as he made a play at first base for the third out and he walked off the field with an athletic trainer by his side.
"I hyperextended it a little," he said afterward. "It was scary, but it's fine now. I didn't even need any treatment."
Manager Pete Mackanin held slumping Maikel Franco out of the lineup. "I want him to go to Miami and start fresh," Mackanin said. Franco has just two hits in his last 24 starts and 5 in his last 36. Only two of those hits have been for extra bases.
Andres Blanco played third base.
Mackanin also went back to using the pitcher in the No. 9 spot of the batting order. He said he was simply looking for anything to spark the offense.
The Phillies move on to Miami for a three-game series with the Marlins. Here are the pitching matchups:
Friday night: RHP Vince Velasquez (4-1, 1.44) vs. LHP Wei-Yin Chen (2-1, 4.26)
Saturday night: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (2-2, 4.88) vs. RHP Tom Koehler (2-3, 7.25)
Sunday afternoon: RHP Aaron Nola (2-2, 2.93) vs. LHP Justin Nicolino (2-0, 2.70)