Bourjos' legs help Cardinals beat Phillies 5-2
Apr. 30, 2015
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Peter Bourjos' well-rested legs made all the difference both at the top of the batting order and in center field for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Bourjos made just his second start of the season count by hitting a game-tying RBI triple and scoring the go-ahead run by beating the throw home on an infield tapper to fuel a four-run fifth inning in a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night.
"Any time you get a chance to start and play, it's a lot of fun," Bourjos said. "It's a tough role, but when you can get some hits and help the team win, it makes it even more special."
Carlos Martinez (3-0) allowed two runs in six innings and Matt Adams doubled twice with an RBI.
Ryan Howard hit his 20th career homer against St. Louis, 11 coming in his hometown, and Odubel Herrera had two hits and an RBI. Aaron Harang (2-2) surrendered five runs in six innings, ending a career-best run of eight consecutive quality starts dating to last September.
Bourjos entered 7 for 15 against Harang with a homer and four RBIs, no doubt factoring into his starting considering he was just 1 for 10 on the season.
"He's got pretty good stuff, but for some reason I have pretty good at-bats against him," Bourjos said. "It's just something I can't explain."
Neither could Harang.
"There's just guys that have your number and it always seems to be the leadoff hitter, those pesky guys, that get me more often than the big guys," Harang said.
Bourjos made a nice running catch to rob Chase Utley of extra bases and an RBI to end the seventh.
"His speed plays big," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "I don't know if any other center fielder, might be one, catches Chase's ball."
Howard's throw home on Matt Carpenter's grounder to first base was not quick enough to catch Bourjos, who slid in ahead of catcher Carlos Ruiz's tag. The Phillies unsuccessfully challenged the call, believing that Bourjos might have been late getting his foot on the base.
Adams and Jhonny Peralta added RBIs later in the inning. Kolten Wong had a two-out RBI single in the second to give St. Louis the early lead.
Howard hit his fourth homer in the fourth, a drive just over the fence into the home bullpen in right that gave him 39 RBIs in 33 career games in St. Louis. He grounded out his other three at-bats against an over-shifted defense, each time to Wong, the second baseman, standing in shallow right field.
"No, I don't like it at all," Howard said. "That's four hits. I'm hitting the ball hard, it's just that guys are playing shifts."
Howard batted fifth behind Jeff Francoeur and hedged at first when asked whether he thought he should be back at cleanup, ultimately saying it was up to Sandberg.
"I feel like I'm a four-hole guy," he said. "I've been there most of my career. That's his call."
Trevor Rosenthal earned his eighth save in eight chances for the NL Central leaders.
Phillies: David Buchanan has lost all four starts this year and was 0-3 in his last nine starts last season with his last win on Aug. 6. During the 13-game drought he's thrown seven quality starts.
Cardinals: LHP Tim Cooney takes injured Adam Wainwright's spot in the rotation and will be making his major league debut. The 24-year-old Cooney, who grew up in a Philadelphia suburb rooting for the Phillies, is 2-1 with a 3.63 ERA in three starts at Triple-A Memphis.
Phillies: OF Domonic Brown reported to Triple-A Lehigh Valley after the end of a rehab assignment for a left Achilles injury.
Cardinals: OF Randal Grichuk, on the DL since April 17 with a lower back strain, has participated in pre-game activities all three games in the series.
Phillies pitchers entered the game with a major league-high 86 walks, but they issued just two on Wednesday — both to Matt Holliday.
Harang made a rough slide into third advancing on a wild pitch in the fifth inning. He had thought it would be easy taking the bag but also respected catcher Yadier Molina's arm.
"That was one of those ones where you're running thinking 'Let's slide. No I don't need to slide. Yeah, I need to slide. No I'm not going to slide. Yeah, let's slide.'" Harang joked.