Nick Pivetta survived a rocky first inning, got a big assist from the bullpen and a couple of big hits from teammates Bryce Harper and Cesar Hernandez as the Phillies opened a three-game homestand with a 4-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.
Pivetta, who had spent the previous five weeks in the minors, got the win in his return to the big-league rotation.
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The victory improved the Phillies to 32-22 overall and 19-10 at home. They are 3-1 against the Cardinals this season.
The start of the game was delayed 50 minutes by rain.
• Pivetta did not let a poor first inning ruin his night.
• Relievers Edgar Garcia, Seranthony Dominguez and Hector Neris combined on four scoreless innings out of the bullpen to protect a one-run lead. Neris struck out two in the ninth. He looks very confident. He is 10 for 10 in save chances this season.
• Phillies hitters struck out 10 times against Adam Wainwright in six innings. But the Phils did manage two huge extra-base hits against Wainwright in coming back from a 3-0 deficit. Harper had a two-run double with two outs in the third to score Pivetta and Andrew McCutchen, both of whom had singled and moved up on a pivotal wild pitch. An inning later, the Phils got a leadoff single from J.T. Realmuto and a booming two-run homer from Hernandez to take the lead.
It did not begin well as he allowed a pair of home runs and three runs just four batters into the game. The right-hander, however, gathered himself and retired the next 10 batters in order on his way to a five-inning stint. No, he did not pitch deep into the game, but Pivetta did do a good job keeping it together and giving his team some quality innings after his difficult start. In all, Pivetta gave up three hits and three runs. Two of the hits and all three of the runs came in the first inning.
Phillies pitchers gave up just four hits on the night and only two after the first inning.
Nick Williams was recalled from Triple A to replace Odubel Herrera. More on Herrera's situation and how the Phillies will fill the center field position here.
The series continues Wednesday night. Aaron Nola (5-0, 4.53) pitches against lefty Genesis Cabrera. Cabrera will be making his big-league debut. You could say he is beginning his career.
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