Game Report: Cardinals 3, Phillies 2

By Rob Rains

The box score for Friday night’s game will show that the save went to Seung Hwan Oh, but you can’t always believe what you read.

The save really went to left fielder Tommy Pham, whose diving catch going toward the foul line in the ninth inning prevented the Phillies from scoring the tying run and kept the Cardinals from blowing another lead.

The win snapped the Cardinals’ seven-game losing streak.

The Cardinals took the lead on a fifth-inning homer by Aledmys Diaz but had to hang on in the ninth for the win.

Aaron Altherr led off the inning with a bloop double and he moved to third on a ground out. After Oh got a strikeout, Freddy Galvis hit a ball toward the line which if it had dropped would have scored Altherr and likely let him get to second with what would have been the go-ahead run.

Instead, Pham made the diving catch to end the game.

“What a great jump and a great job of positioning,” said manager Mike Matheny. “I thought it was going to tail away from him but Tommy had a lot of closing speed to make that happen.”

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate:
Matt Carpenter and Dexter Fowler each had two hits at the top of the batting order, and their back-to-back hits set up a two-run rally in the third which tied the game. Stephen Piscotty’s sacrifice fly drove in the first before Jedd Gyorko’s single tied the game … Diaz’s homer with two outs in the fifth was his first since May 1 … That was the only time the Cardinals got a runner past first base after the third inning … Kolten Wong returned to the lineup after being activated from the DL and had a single in four plate appearances, also drawing an intentional walk and being hit by a pitch … The 11 hits by the Cardinals equaled the most they have had in a game (once) since they got 12 on May 21.

On the mound: After failing to get past the fifth inning in his previous three starts, Michael Wacha worked six solid innings. He allowed just two runs on five hits, three of them consecutive hits with two outs in the third which produced both of the Phillies’ runs … Michael Bowman relieved in the seventh and struck out the side … Trevor Rosenthal pitched around a leadoff single in the eighth, getting a strikeout-caught stealing double play to end the inning … Oh earned his first save since June 1.

Key stat: In their last 95 innings, the Cardinals have had only two innings in which they scored more than two runs. They had one three-run inning and one four-run inning, which equaled the most runs they have scored in an inning this season.

Worth noting: Yadier Molina was scratched from the lineup because of tightness in his lower back which he experienced while he was warming up before the game … The sacrifice fly by Piscotty was the first by the Cardinals in their last 11 games … After starting the game 0-of-4 with three strikeouts, Randal Grichuk had an RBI single in the 10th to give Memphis a walkoff win Friday night. He also recorded two outfield assists.

Looking ahead: Carlos Martinez will get the start in the 1:15 p.m. game on Saturday. Nick Pivetta, a 24-year-old right-hander, will make his sixth career start for the Phillies.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains