Phillie CF Victorino rips Cardinals apart
Posted: Wednesday, May 6, 2009 8:22 pm
By: By R.B. FALLSTROM, AP Sports Writer
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Philadelphia Phillies’ center fielder was the big story a day after Rick Ankiel’s harrowing headfirst crash into the wall.
Shane Victorino was 4-for-5 with a home run and three runs batted in and Jayson Werth had a three-run shot and four RBI in a 10-7 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night. Victorino has a 14-game hitting streak.
“I don’t really want to talk about it,” Victorino said. “When you feel good, you feel good. I just want to be the player I can be.”
Ankiel watched from the dugout in a warmup jersey after escaping a potentially dangerous situation with a bruised right shoulder the worst of his minor injuries, lessening the blow a bit from the Cardinals’ first three-game losing streak of the season.
“You saw it, I saw it,” loser Adam Wainwright said. “He was probably an inch from breaking his neck. We’re very fortunate he’s all right. So’s he.”
Ryan Ludwick and Yadier Molina hit solo homers in a span of three at-bats to help the Cardinals cut the deficit to 4-3 in the fourth.
Werth answered with a three-run shot in the fifth off Wainwright (3-1), who walked Ryan Howard on four pitches nowhere close to the zone the previous at-bat to put two on with two out.
“If you’re going to get beat, you can’t get beat by him,” Wainwright said. “But you can’t give up a three-run homer after your team scores three, either.”
Albert Pujols hit his 10th homer in the ninth off Brad Lidge, his lone hit in eight at-bats in the series. Lidge has allowed four homers in 102⁄3 innings.
The Phillies have hit 26 homers in 17 games at 4-year-old Busch Stadium. Despite a spotty effort from Brett Myers (2-2) and with Chase Utley on the bench with a bruised left foot, they swept the Cardinals in a two-game series for the first time since Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 1981 at Veterans Stadium and won their fifth in a row overall in St. Louis.
Myers said he didn’t feel well, particularly later in his outing, but said both of the homers he allowed came on pitches he liked. Phillies starters have on six wins.
“We don’t know why we’re struggling,” Myers said. “We’re working just as hard as we have the whole year. I don’t think it’s pitch selection.”
Victorino is batting .365 (23 for 62) during the hitting streak, has 14 RBI his last 10 games and has scored a run in 10 straight.
He hit his fourth homer in the first, keyed a three-run third with a two-run double and added a pair of singles before striking out in the eighth.
Werth added a sacrifice fly in the third and Ryan Howard was 1-for-2 with an RBI and two walks, giving him 29 RBI and a .381 average in 27 games in his hometown.
Myers won for the first time in four starts despite allowing five runs on nine hits in 51⁄3 innings.
The Phillies led three times by four runs, finally putting away the Cardinals in the seventh on RBI singles by Howard and Pedro Feliz after reliever Chris Perez couldn’t locate the bag covering first on a grounder.
Wainwright surrendered seven runs and nine hits in six innings after entering 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA against the Phillies. He had four of his five strikeouts in a span of five hitters between the first and second, but his best play might have been picking off Victorino in the fifth after first faking to third — a ploy that rarely succeeds.
Rookie Colby Rasmus replaced Ankiel in center field and had an RBI.
The team postponed a decision whether to place Ankiel on the 15-day disabled list, depending on how much better he’s feeling in a few days.
La Russa said Ankiel was “beat-up,” but added, “It’s worth waiting a couple of days because there wasn’t anything broken. Just in case he can go.”
Notes: Miguel Cairo got his first start of the season in place of Utley and was 1-for-4. … Phillies pitchers have allowed 46 homers, most in the majors. Myers has surrendered 10 of them in 38 innings… Jimmy Rollins had two hits and is 10 for 32 his last seven games after going 11-for-68 the first 16. … Khalil Greene hit a sacrifice fly to the center field wall as a pinch hitter in the sixth and finished the game at SS after missing the previous five games with wrist tendinitis. La Russa said he’d start today against the Pirates.