Phillies punish weakened Cards with late salvo

ST. LOUIS (Reuters) - The Philadelphia Phillies turned a pitchers' duel into a blowout when a late surge handed St Louis a 10-2 defeat as the Cardinals made an inauspicious start to life without Albert Pujols on Tuesday.

The Phillies (46-28) scored just once in the first seven innings against St Louis starter Kyle McClellan before springing to life in the eighth, overturning a 2-1 deficit by scoring nine runs to feast on the Cardinals' wobbly bullpen.

"The eighth inning was so ridiculous it was hard to describe," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa told reporters. "It completely got away from us."

St Louis needed five relievers and recorded four walks and hit two batsmen during the disastrous inning that sealed the Cardinals' (40-34) fate in their first game since three-times National League MVP Pujols fractured his left wrist on Sunday.

Pujols will miss an estimated six weeks.

"I've never seen an inning with that many pitching changes, it was kind of crazy," Francisco said. "It was nice for us to get a big inning like that, we haven't been scoring in bunches like that."

Carlos Ruiz went 4-for-4 at the plate for the league-leading Phillies, who got another strong pitching performance from ace Roy Halladay.

Halladay (9-3) was pitching for his Major League-leading 10th win of the season, but had to settle for a no-decision after allowing one run in six innings.

Michael Stutes pitched the seventh and was credited with the win. He allowed a run in the inning, and St. Louis also scored in the fifth.

(Editing by Peter Rutherford)