Cliff Lee is not one to complain, but when the Philadelphia Phillies fail to produce runs every time he's on the hill it has to take a toll on the left-hander.
The Phillies outlasted the St. Louis Cardinals by a 10-9 score in last night's opener of a four-game series and look to help Lee Friday in the second portion of this series from Busch Stadium. Philadelphia has scored two or more runs just three times in Lee's six starts this season and he is 0-1 with two no- decisions in those appearances. He suffered through his worst start of the season in Sunday's 5-1 loss versus Boston, as he allowed all five runs and nine hits over seven innings.
Lee, who is 0-2 with a 2.66 earned run average this season, will make his fourth career start in the regular season against St. Louis and is 3-1 with a 1.48 ERA through the first three. Lee took the loss in Game 2 of last year's NLDS against the Cardinals.
Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse suffered the loss in Game 1 of that postseason series and will get the nod tonight. Lohse has received plenty of run support this season and has pitched to a 5-1 record and a 2.91 ERA in nine starts. St. Louis is averaging nearly five runs (4.8) per outing for Lohse and he has recorded back-to-back no-decisions. In Sunday's 6-5 loss at Los Angeles, the righty gave up a season-high 11 hits and three runs in 5 2/3 inning.
Lohse has allowed 15 runs over his previous five starts and will try to stay unbeaten at home. He is 1-0 in three starts in the Gateway City and 3-4 with a 3.43 ERA in 10 regular season starts against the Phillies.
The Phillies blew a 6-0 lead in Thursday's one-run win and got some clutch hits from Freddy Galvis, Mike Fontenot and Ty Wigginton. Galvis and Fontenot gave the Phillies the lead again with RBI singles in the sixth inning for a 9-7 lead and Wigginton's solo homer in the eighth put the visitors ahead for good. Galvis and Shane Victorino finished with three RBI apiece, while Wigginton added three hits, three runs scored and two RBI.
"We had the momentum early. I let them come back and I felt like St. Louis had all the momentum after I let them tie the game back up," said Phils starter Joe Blanton. "We just kept our foot on the gas pedal as hitters."
Blanton did not figure into the decision in his second straight poor outing and was reached for seven runs and 10 hits over 4 1/3 innings. Raul Valdes picked up the win by getting the last two outs of the fifth inning and Jonathan Papelbon nailed down his 13th save in the ninth.
Placido Polanco added three hits, scored a run and drove in one for Philadelphia, which has won two in a row on the heels of a four-game slide and opened a seven-game road trip on a high note. Jimmy Rollins returned from a three-game absence due to a paternity leave to amass two of the Phils' season- high 18 hits in six at-bats. The Phillies will also visit the New York Mets for three games on this trip.
St. Louis lost grip of first place in the NL Central with last night's loss and sits one-half game behind Cincinnati. It almost pulled off a miraculous comeback and received plenty of hitting in defeat, as Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina and David Freese all homered. Holliday hit a solo shot and Molina added a two-run blast in the fifth inning to make it a 7-7 game.
Freese then went deep in the seventh and Skip Schumaker added a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning, but it wasn't enough to keep St. Louis' winning streak alive. The Cardinals were coming off a three-game sweep of San Diego, but lost for the ninth time in 14 tries. Molina ended with four hits and three RBI, Carlos Beltran went 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored and Freese crossed the plate three times.
"We know we fought back and that's what we have to do," said Freese. "Very easily, especially this far into the season, you can just fold over and turn the page, but we showed tonight you can come back and win any ballgame."
Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook allowed six runs on eight hits and three walks over 3 2/3 innings in the no-decision. Fernando Salas fell to 0-3 in relief after he gave up two runs and four hits.
St. Louis slugger Lance Berkman is expected to undergo right knee surgery on Friday to repair a torn meniscus.
"I've been preaching all year to control the things we can control, and we certainly can't control what they're going to find when they go in there and start doing some exploration," Cardinals first-year manager Mike Matheny said. "But obviously I've been thinking about him, praying for him. I want the best to happen for him, as much for us."
St. Louis won six of nine meetings with the Phillies during the regular season last year and had won two straight and four of the last five encounters before last night's setback. The Cardinals defeated the Phillies in five games during the NLDS.