The Phillies fell six games out in the NL East Monday night when the Cardinals beat them 8-4.
Kyle Kendrick (5-4) surrendered seven runs in five innings, coughing up a 4-2 lead as the Phillies lost for the fourth time in five games. Ryan Howard, who grew up in suburban St. Louis, had two hits and an RBI and is a .382 hitter with seven homers and 30 RBIs in 18 games at 5-year-old Busch Stadium.
Kendrick had been 4-0 with a 1.67 ERA in five previous starts against the Cardinals, including seven shutout innings May 5 in Philadelphia, a game in which Cardinals manager Tony La Russa joked, “We couldn’t hit the ball past the pitcher.”
This time, they reached the seats.
"My command was off all night,” Kendrick said. “I got behind, I left pitches up. They should be hit where they hit them.”
The Phillies have now hit a season low.
"It’s not over," shortstop Jimmy Rollins said. “The guys with the bats and the balls, they control what the pen says.”
Shane Victorino, batting sixth for the first time this season, had a two-run single in the first for Philadelphia. But Blake Hawksworth retired eight in a row with the help of a double-play ball to end the second and catcher Yadier Molina’s pickoff of Jayson Werth to end the third, and was hurt the rest of his outing only by Rollins’ RBI single in the fourth.
Placido Polanco had an infield hit off Pujols’ glove at first in the first to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, the last three since coming off the 15-day disabled list from an elbow injury.