The Sports Xchange

By Gordie Jones, The Sports Xchange

Carpenter steps up in 12th to lift Cardinals

PHILADELPHIA -- The St. Louis Cardinals spent most of Saturday night looking for someone to deliver in the clutch.

Third baseman Matt Carpenter finally did, lofting a sacrifice fly to left field to drive in the go-ahead run in the top of the 12th inning, giving St. Louis a 6-5 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

It came on a night when the Cardinals went 2-for-18 with runners in scoring position and stranded 15 baserunners.

"It would have been a tough one to lose," said St. Louis manager Mike Matheny, who saw his team fritter away a 5-2 lead. "I felt the same way yesterday (after a 5-4 loss). It was one of those tough ones to swallow. But the guys fought hard and kept coming.

"We had a lot of opportunities today, though ... a lot of guys in scoring position less than two outs and couldn't get it done. It normally doesn't work out well when you can't produce in those situations, but we got just enough tonight."

Shortstop Jhonny Peralta homered for the Cardinals, who won for the eighth time in 10 games.

First baseman Ryan Howard hit a solo homer for the Phillies, who forged a 5-5 tie on a two-run single by right fielder Marlon Byrd in the eighth inning.

"The guys battled right down until the end, battled back, had late fight," Philadelphia manager Ryne Sandberg said. "We had real good work out of the bullpen."

Cardinals pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso drew a leadoff walk in the 12th from reliever Ken Giles (2-1), and right fielder Jon Jay sacrificed. Center fielder Peter Bourjos legged out an infield single, with Descalso taking third, and Carpenter followed with his sacrifice fly.

Seth Maness (5-2) posted the victory with two scoreless innings of relief. Trevor Rosenthal pitched around his own one-out throwing error in the bottom of the 12th to post his 38th save and end a game that lasted four hours and 53 minutes.

With the score tied at 2, Cardinals catcher A.J. Pierzynski led off the sixth inning with a double against reliever Mario Hollands. Right fielder Oscar Taveras following by blooping a single to left field, and when Phillies left fielder Domonic Brown threw wildly to third base, Pierzynski continued home and Taveras advanced to third.

Jay walked and pitcher Shelby Miller then laid down a bunt that Philadelphia third baseman Cody Asche barehanded along the third base line just before it rolled foul. Taveras scored, and when Asche threw the ball away at first base, Jay came all the way around, too. That left St. Louis with a 5-2 lead.

Howard led off the bottom of the sixth inning with his 19th homer and Byrd blooped his two-run single to right in the eighth off reliever Randy Choate to tie it.

Miller, the Cardinals' starter, went six innings and allowed three runs and five hits while striking out three and walking two.

"Overall, I felt good," he said. "I thought I did a good job of getting ahead in the count and finishing pitches when it mattered."

Philadelphia starter David Buchanan went five innings and allowed two runs and eight hits, and was bailed out by double plays in each of the first two innings. He did not strike out a batter while walking two.

"Buchanan actually hung in there pretty well," Sandberg said. "He had some baserunners, some stress. With the stress, he minimized the score and hung in there. It wasn't his best outing. He hung in there. At that point, with the game the game went, he did his job."

Peralta hit a leadoff homer in the second inning, his 18th home run of the season, to stake the Cardinals to a 1-0 lead. But in the fourth inning the Phillies jumped in front on a two-run double by catcher Carlos Ruiz.

St. Louis knotted it at 2 on a run-scoring groundout by left fielder Matt Holliday in the fifth inning.

NOTES: Earlier in the day, the Phillies designated INF Reid Brignac for assignment and recalled INF/OF Freddy Galvis from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. ... Philadelphia RHP Mike Adams, on the disabled list since June 7 with an inflamed right rotator cuff, will begin a rehab assignment Tuesday at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. ... Cardinals CF Jon Jay, who saw his 12-game hitting streak snapped on Friday, was dropped from sixth to eighth in the lineup.

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