Cardinals break out on offense to top Phillies
ST. LOUIS -- Responding to manager Mike Matheny's shakeup of the batting order, the Cardinals spoiled Severino Gonzalez's Major League debut by knocking the Phillies righty around for seven quick runs in an 11-5 win at Busch Stadium on Tuesday night.
Gonzalez allowed multiple runs in the first, second and the third innings before an RBI hit by opposing starter Michael Wacha ended his evening. A two-run fifth off reliever Jake Diekman helped the Cardinals reach a season high in hits (15) and runs scored. For the Cardinals, who came in averaging 3.7 runs per game, this marked the first time all season that they had scored at least two runs in five different innings.
"I thought we did a good job tonight of trying to jump out early with good at-bats and putting the ball in play hard," Cardinals outfielder Jason Heyward said. "I think that's the best thing you can do against a new pitcher. We didn't come out of our strike zone tonight, but got good pitches to hit."
Matt Holliday, Matt Adams, Matt Carpenter, Jon Jay and Kolten Wong each enjoyed multihit nights. Heyward, who was bumped down to the sixth-hole, reached base four times.
"I was facing one of the best clubs in the Major Leagues, good hitters that take some pitches," Gonzalez said through translator Juan Samuel. "I knew I was facing a good club."
In their first look at Wacha, the Phillies did have some success. Freddy Galvis jump-started a two-run third and two-run fifth with leadoff singles in both frames. Odubel Herrera and Chase Utley drove in runs in each of those innings. Wacha went on to finish 5 2/3 innings to improve to 4-0 in four starts.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
An assist from Adams: Adams enjoyed his first three-hit night of the season and tallied two of those hits by squirting singles just past a radically shifted Phillies infield defense. Adams' first-inning single drove home one run. He then doubled and scored in the team's three-run third. A sacrifice fly capped his night.
"I felt comfortable in the box tonight," said Adams, who has driven in at least one run in eight of his last 15 games. "My swing felt pretty good. I just have to carry that over."
Gonzalez's forgettable debut: Gonzalez certainly hoped for better in his big league debut, but the Cardinals chased him from the game after just 2 2/3 innings. Gonzalez allowed 10 hits, seven runs and two walks. He became the first Phillies starter since 1996 to last fewer than three innings in his Major League debut. More >
A dual threat: It may not have been Wacha's sharpest pitching performance, but the righty came through in a big way at the plate. He collected the first RBIs from a Cardinals pitcher this year with a productive second-inning groundout and third-inning single. Wacha then extended the fifth with a two-out walk, which Jay and Carpenter followed with run-scoring hits.
"Our pitching staff takes a lot of pride in getting those guys in whenever we have the chance to," said Wacha, who now has seven career RBIs. "I was just going up there trying to find a good heater to hit. I was able to make a decent swing."
Walks hurt: The Phillies' pitching staff entered the night with 80 walks to lead Major League Baseball. Their command problems continued with six walks Tuesday: two from Gonzalez, three from Diekman and one from Justin De Fratus. Five of those walks scored. More >
"I was not nervous at all. I was very calm. I was concentrating on keeping the ball down and trying to throw strikes. Unfortunately, things did not work out." -- Gonzalez, on jitters possibly playing a role in his struggles.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
With his victory, Wacha became the first Cardinals pitcher age 23 or younger to win each of his first four starts in a season since 1927. It was last accomplished by Fred Frankhouse, who actually won his first five starts after joining the team in September of that year.
Galvis had three hits, giving him five three-hit games this season. He is tied with the Marlins' Dee Gordon for the most three-hit games in Major League Baseball.
Phillies: Right-hander Aaron Harang has been the team's most consistent starter in April, and he'll take the mound when the Phillies face the Cardinals on Wednesday at 8:15 p.m. ET. He has pitched at least six innings in each of his four starts, including eight scoreless innings Friday against the Braves.
Cardinals: Carlos Martinez (2-0, 1.35 ERA) will carry a scoreless innings streak of eight into his start against the Phillies on Wednesday. The start will be Martinez's second at home this year. Three of his previous four appearances against Philadelphia came in relief. The game is scheduled to start at 7:15 p.m. CT.
Watch every out-of-market regular season game live on MLB.TV.