Lohse and Berkman bring the Cardinals within 2.5 back in the Wild Card

Kyle Lohse pitched into the eight inning and Lance Berkman had a home run and two RBIs in the Cardinals 4-3 win against the Phillies. With the Braves losing, the Cardinals are now just 2.5 back of the Braves for the National League Wild Card.  Lohse gave up an unearned run to pick up his 14th win of the season. Roy Halladay gave up four runs in eight innings, walking a season high four (even though two were unintentional) to fall to 18-6 on the season.  It was the first time the Phillies have lost a four game series all year.  The Phillies’ offense again was lackluster as they had only had one run for eight innings until making things interesting in the ninth inning.  The Phillies welcome the Washington Nationals to town for a double header tomorrow and the Cardinals go home for series with the New York Mets.

The Phillies were all ready behind the eight ball two batters into the game. Rafael Furcal doubled to lead off the game and advanced to third on a Carlos Ruiz passed ball.  The next batter, Nick Punto grounded out which allowed Furcal to score and the Cardinals were up 1-0.  Two batters later, Lance Berkman added a solo home run to make it 2-0.  Carlos Ruiz cut the deficit in half with a RBI single in the second inning.  The Red Birds regained the two run lead in the third inning when Lance Berkman singled home pitcher Kyle Lohse, who led off the inning with a double.  The Phillies let a huge opportunity go to waste in the bottom of the third with one out when Raul Ibanez and Placido Polanco each struck out with the bases loaded. Albert Pujols tacked on an insurance run to make it 4-1 in the seventh which would actually prove costly for the Phillies.  In the ninth inning, Carlos Ruiz led off the inning with a double.  After a Brandon Moss strike out, Jimmy Rollins tripled to cut the deficit to two. Shane Victorino followed with a RBI ground out to make it 4-3. Octavio Dotel would unfortunately get Hunter Pence to ground out to end the game.

Notes:

This game might have cost Halladay a Cy Young.

Even with the loss, the Phillies wrapped up home field advantage with the Brewers losing.

Cliff Lee gets a chance to respond to Ian Kennedy’s 12 strikeout performance against the Pirates for the NL Cy Young race tomorrow in the night cap of the doubleheader.

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