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Pham sparks Cards' win with bat and arm

MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- For Tommy Pham, fresh off a homer in the 11th inning of Tuesday's win over the Phillies, Wednesday was a repeat showing of sorts.

Plus a special feature.

View Full Game Coverage

PHILADELPHIA -- For Tommy Pham, fresh off a homer in the 11th inning of Tuesday's win over the Phillies, Wednesday was a repeat showing of sorts.

Plus a special feature.

View Full Game Coverage

Pham bashed two homers in the 7-6 win on Wednesday night. The first, a solo homer, got the Cards on the board in the fifth, their first step back after trailing, 5-0. His second cleared the fence in center and tied the score at 5 in the ninth off Phillies closer Hector Neris.

Entering that extra-inning at-bat on Tuesday, Pham had 20 homers in 448 career at-bats. In his next five at-bats, he homered three times. He now leads the Cardinals with five multi-homer games over the last three seasons despite ranking 13th in games played over that span.

Not content to let his bat do all the talking, the left fielder threw out the would-be walk-off run at home plate in the ninth.

"I was surprised that he went, because when the ball was in the corner, I was just trying to make sure it didn't trickle down to the fence, and I knew immediately on that play you've got to get the ball into home," Pham said. "When I saw that he was going, I was like wow, thanks."

Manager Mike Matheny said Pham played the richochet off the jutted section of the stands perfectly. Pham knew the throw was pure right out of his hand.

Video: STL@PHI: Pham cuts down Herrera to preserve the tie

At the plate, what helped Pham on Tuesday was precisely what did in Phillies pitching on Wednesday.

Pham said this after Tuesday's homer: "I'm going to tell you guys exactly what I told [Adam] Wainwright. He threw me a cutter. If he threw it again, I'm going to crush it. That usually never works. But it did there. He doubled up, and I didn't miss it."

Pham's first homer on Wednesday came on the final of 12 pitches. He fouled off three fastballs up and in the strike zone throughout his battle with Phillies starter Nick Pivetta before hitting practically the very same pitch out to center.

"The whole at-bat, I felt like he was living on the corners, and on the home-run pitch, he just caught more of the plate," he said. "That's all it was. He made, like, nine pitches on the corner."

In the ninth, Neris started Pham with a splitter down and away, which Pham took, as he did the next pitch, a 94-mph four-seam fastball on the outside corner. The third pitch came in the same spot, and Pham pounced on it, sending it into the bushes in center field.

"The first [fastball], I felt like he made a good pitch," Pham said. "The second one was just a little more over the plate."

By inches, if that.

"We talk about how dangerous a hitter he is at any point to any part of the field, too. He went and picked the deepest part in center," Matheny said. "I think he can hit just about any pitch. It's nice to see a guy go up there with an approach and stick with that approach and for it to be able to work for him."

Ben Harris is a contributor to MLB.com based in Philadelphia.

St. Louis Cardinals, Tommy Pham