Philadelphia, PA – Juan Pierre beat out an infield hit in the bottom of the 11th inning and the Philadelphia Phillies escaped with an 8-7 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in the finale of a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park.
Facing Barret Browning (0-2), Erik Kratz, who sent the game into extra frames with a game-tying three-run homer in the eighth, doubled into the left- center field gap to start the rally.
Kratz was erased on a fielder's choice by Jimmy Rollins, but Rollins was able to move to second on a groundout by pinch-hitter Brian Schneider before stealing third.
Pierre then ripped one deep in the hole at shortstop, where Rafael Furcal backhanded the ball nicely, but slipped a little as he fired to Allen Craig at first. The speedy Pierre beat the play by a step, allowing Rollins to score the winning run.
"I didn't have a particularly good day at the plate," Pierre said. "I went old school wiffle ball on them. I didn't feel good all day, but the one thing you can do is fight, and I just battled."
Jeremy Horst (1-0) got the win with two innings of scoreless relief behind starter Vance Worley, who allowed four runs on nine hits with four strikeouts and two walks over 5 1/3 innings.
Chase Utley stroked a two-run triple and Ryan Howard added a solo shot for the Phillies, who have won nine of their last 13 home games.
Matt Carpenter clubbed four hits and knocked in three runs, while Jon Jay went 3-for-5 with a pair of RBI for the Cardinals, who have lost eight of their last 11 series against Philadelphia.
"I tried to come with a sinker inside and get it in on him," Browning said. "He kind of fisted it to shortstop. He's got good speed and hit it in a place that was difficult to handle."
St. Louis opened the scoring with a run in its first at-bat when Jay drew a leadoff walk and scored on a double into the right-center field gap by Carpenter.
The Phils came right back in the home portion of the inning to take the lead. Pierre was plunked and Kevin Frandsen beat out a bunt single before Utley lined one into the gap in left-center for two runs. Howard followed and lined it off the glove of Daniel Descalso at second and into short right field, scoring Utley for a 3-1 lead.
The Cards cut the deficit to one in the third after Carlos Beltran drove home Matt Holliday with a double down the right-field line, and took the lead with two more runs in the fourth.
Furcal started the inning with a base hit and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Cardinals starter Lance Lynn. Jay followed with a line single into left and made it all the way to third following a throwing error by Kratz before scoring on a hit by Carpenter.
Philadelphia, though, tied the game at four on Howard's opposite-field solo shot in the bottom of the fourth.
Tony Cruz started the Cardinals eighth with a single and pinch-hitter David Freese walked before Jay doubled home a pair and Carpenter drove home Jay to make it 7-4.
Marc Rzepczynski started the eighth on the mound for the Cards and immediately got into trouble by walking Utley and Howard. Mitchell Boggs came in from the bullpen and got the next two outs, but surrendered a three-run bomb to Kratz to make it a tie game again.
Philadelphia finished off a nine-game homestand with a 5-4 mark. The Phils will begin a seven-game road trip in Miami on Monday...The Phillies improved to 17-8 against the National League Central this season -- the only division in baseball against which they have an above-.500 record...St. Louis outhit Philadelphia, 14-7...St. Louis will begin a nine-game homestand against Arizona, Pittsburgh and Houston on Tuesday...Lynn allowed four runs on four hits over five innings.