Phillies dispatch Cardinals with four-run eighth
Revere delivers go-ahead RBI before Kratz's big blast
PHILADELPHIA -- It's a manager's responsibility to consider everything during the course of the game. So when Ben Revere came to the plate with one out, the bases loaded and the score tied in the bottom of the sixth inning, Charlie Manuel went over his pinch-hitting options.
"I liked Benny there. He's our center fielder but, at the same time, in that situation there, I talked to all our coaches and we all came up with, 'He's hard to double up,'" the Phillies manager said.
Naturally, then, Revere hit into the double play.
Baseball sometimes offers second chances, though, and Revere got one two innings later. With the score tied again and one out again, this time runners on first and second, Revere singled up the middle against Cardinals closer Mitchell Boggs to drive in the game-winning run.
"I figured if I let him hit back there in the sixth, I could let him hit here. And if he'd have hit into two double plays I'd have been upset, of course," Manuel said with a laugh.
Catcher Erik Kratz hit the next pitch for a three-run homer and the Phillies broke open what had been a taut, back-and-forth game and earned a split of their four-game series against the Cardinals with a 7-3 win Sunday night at Citizens Bank Park.
"I was really ticked," Revere said of his at-bat in the sixth. "I thought that sucker was up the middle and it seemed like that ball just stuck. And the shortstop grabbed it right by the bag and stepped on it and got a double play. I just came in the clubhouse and tried to calm myself. Did a little meditation.
"Then [in the eighth] I was like, 'I've got to redeem myself right here.' And luckily I saw a pitch up and was able to drive it into center field."
But the inning was set up by a hit that didn't make it out of the infield. With one out, Michael Young extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a grounder back up the middle that deflected off Boggs' glove and rolled toward shortstop. He went to second on a single by Domonic Brown and then Revere and Kratz came up big. Manuel, however, didn't forget how different the inning could have been if Boggs had two outs and nobody on when Brown stepped to the plate.
"We hung in there and we got a break. Like I said, Young's hit off the pitcher's [glove], that was a big hit for us," the manager said.
Boggs took full responsibility.
"I should have caught that ball, most Major League pitchers catch that ball 100 percent of the time," he said. "It was right to me. I don't know what happened, I thought it was further away than it was and it caught me on the heel of the glove. But that is an out every day of the week."
It wasn't an easy win for the Phillies. Starter Kyle Kendrick gave up a one-out homer to Matt Carpenter in the first. He had runners on first and second with nobody out in both the second and the fourth. He ended up throwing 113 pitches in six innings but allowed only two runs, his 11th quality start in his last 14 outings going back to last season.
St. Louis took the lead in the top of the seventh on an unearned run made possible by second baseman Chase Utley's two-base throwing error. Utley also short-circuited a rally in the first when he either misread a fly ball to left or forgot how many outs there were. In either case, he was almost at home plate when he was doubled off second.
"I think he did [lose track]," Manuel said. "And you might never see that again. But I think that's what happened."
The Phillies came back to retie the score in the bottom of the seventh on a big pinch-hit double by Laynce Nix after a 10-pitch at-bat, scoring Kratz all the way from first.
Utley's missteps weren't the only curious sidelight to the evening. In the fourth inning, Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams dunked a single to left in front of Brown, who was playing him deep. Many in the crowd of 35,115 apparently thought he should have been able to make the play.
"No, I don't think that ball was catchable," Manuel said. "That [reaction] ain't going to bother him, though. He's strong enough to get over that."
It didn't seem to faze him. In his next two plate appearances he walked and then his single kept the winning rally alive in the eighth. When it was all over, the Phillies had scored four runs on seven pitches ... more than they'd scored in eight of their previous nine games.
That's just the kind of night it was.