ST. LOUIS -- Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera's on-base streak ended at 45 games in Sunday afternoon's 5-1 loss to the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, but not without some drama.
Herrera, who entered the game hitting .368 in May with four homers, struck out in the first and seventh innings and grounded to second in the fourth against Cardinals right-hander Jack Flaherty. He had one last chance in the ninth against reliever Jordan Hicks. Herrera struck out swinging, but the ball got past catcher Francisco Pena, and Herrera reached first base safely.
However, since he struck out, Herrera's streak is officially over.
"It's part of the game, that's part of baseball," Herrera said through an interpreter. "At some point the streak had to end. Now I'm looking forward to starting a new streak."
Herrera said he never felt pressure to keep the streak going. Instead, he used it as motivation.
Hicks had some extra incentive facing Herrera in the ninth, but for a different reason.
"Odubel just takes forever to get in the box," said Hicks, who hit 105 mph on the radar gun twice during Herrera's at bat. "It amps me up a little bit. So I bring it against him."
The Cardinals were powered by a dominant performance by the rookie Flaherty, who allowed just two hits over 7 2/3 innings, striking out 13, to earn his first Major League win.
"Flaherty was tremendous today, and sometimes you've just got to tip your cap to the other guy who located his fastball and his slider," manager Gabe Kapler said. "He kept us off-balance all day long. It was a real gritty performance by him."
Herrera's streak was the fourth longest in Phillies history behind Mike Schmidt (56 games), Chuck Klein (49) and Bobby Abreu (48). It was the longest in the Majors since Atlanta's Freddie Freeman reached in 46 consecutive games in 2016.
"What an incredible accomplishment," Kapler said. "I was looking at the list before the game of guys who have reached base somewhere in that many games and wow there are some Hall of Famers, some perennial All-Stars on that list, so he's in good company."
Phillies starter Aaron Nola (6-2) entered the game on a career-best five-game winning streak, but lost for the first time since April 16. Nola stranded runners in scoring position in the first and third, but couldn't do the same in the fourth and sixth, allowing a pair of runs in each of those innings.
Nola allowed a season-high four earned runs in six innings. He struck out six and walked one.
"I'm not really worried about a streak, I'm just trying to do everything I can to get my team a win," Nola said. "They hit me pretty well today. I left some balls over the plate right in their paths and they got a couple of doubles and some singles, and got guys in when they needed to."
Matt Carpenter had three hits, including a pair of doubles, and scored twice for the Cardinals. Tyler O'Neill hit his second Major League homer as part of a three-hit day.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Flaherty retired the first 10 Phillies he faced before Rhys Hoskins ambushed a first-pitch fastball 431 feet into the left-field bullpen to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the fourth. It was Hoskins' first homer in 11 games.
The Phillies have not won a series against the Cardinals since Aug. 22-24, 2014, at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies have not won a Series at Busch Stadium since May 24-27, 2012, going 0-4-2 in that span and have won just six of their last 22 games in St. Louis.
HE SAID IT
"I'd say our mindset is prepared [for the upcoming series against Atlanta]. We're focused. There's a lot of adrenaline and a lot of excitement going into that series. We feel like we match up very well against them and more than anything else we're not going to get outworked. We're prepared, so we're ready to roll." -- Kapler
Nick Pivetta (3-2, 3.72 ERA) will get the start as the Phillies return home to kick off a three-game series against Atlanta and Mike Foltynewicz (3-2, 2.87 ERA) on Monday at 7:05 EST. Pivetta suffered his first loss of the season to the Braves on April 28.