By Bob Brookover, The Philadelphia Inquirer –
ST. LOUIS — Resiliency was the trademark of the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals. They were often down, but never out and their reward was a World Series title.
For a second straight night at Busch Stadium, the Phillies proved to be the team with more resolve as they climbed back above .500 with a 5-3, 10-inning win that had an assortment of heroes.
Ultimately, Hunter Pence provided the margin of victory by driving a Jason Motte fastball over the right-field wall for a two-run home run. Juan Pierre had opened the inning with a single off the Cardinals’ hard-throwing closer.
Pence had been hitless in his previous 12 at-bats before the home run.
The Phillies won their third straight and remained four games behind the first-place Washington Nationals in the National League East.
Raul Valdes got the victory for the second straight night after pitching out of some ninth-inning trouble with strikeouts of Tyler Greene and Matt Holliday.
Jonathan Papelbon got the official save — his 14th of the season — and rookie second baseman Freddy Galvis got the unofficial save with an amazing relay throw to gun down Yadier Molina at home plate in the bottom of the eighth inning.
After Molina singled with two outs, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel replaced righthander Jose Contreras with rookie lefthander Jake Diekman.
Before the game, Manuel raved about how Cardinals rookie lefty Matt Adams had battled Diekman the night before.
Diekman won that battle, but this time Adams ripped a double into right-center field. Victorino made a strong relay throw to Galvis and the rookie second baseman nailed Molina at home with Carlos Ruiz surviving a hard hit from his fellow catcher.
For the second straight night, the Phillies gave their starting pitcher an early lead and then watched it evaporate in the summer-like heat.
Cliff Lee went to the mound in the bottom of the second with a 2-0 cushion after the Phillies scored twice on three hits and an error off Kyle Lohse in the top of the inning.
Manuel had moved Placido Polanco’s hot bat down to seventh in the order and inserted Pierre in the second spot in the hope that it would generate some offense at both the top and the bottom of the order.
Pierre ended up with two hits, including a game-tying double in the seventh, and scored the game-winning run.
Polanco and the equally hot Galvis reached base on consecutive one-out singles started a second-inning rally. After Lee flied out to left field, Jimmy Rollins worked a full count before dropping an RBI single into right field. Pierre followed with a slow roller that was bobbled by first baseman Matt Adams for an error that allowed Galvis to score.
The Cardinals, just as they did in the opening game against Joe Blanton, chipped away at the lead.
The Cardinals got one run back in the second, another in the third and took the lead in the fourth off a highly frustrated Lee, who remained winless in seven starts.
Lee’s worst luck came in the fourth when the Cardinals took a 3-2 lead on four hits, including two that were simply lost in the lights at twilight.
David Freese launched a long drive to center field to open the inning and it was immediately clear that Shane Victorino could not pick up the ball. As Victorino helplessly waved his arms, the ball caromed off the top off the wall. By the time Victorino retrieved it, Freese was headed for third base and a triple.
Molina followed with a game-tying single up the middle.
Adams then lofted a routine fly ball to right field that was lost in lights by Pence. That ball also dropped for a hit, but Victorino picked it up and made a strong throw to third to nail Molina for the first out of the inning.
Lee escaped without further damage, but when he returned to the dugout television cameras caught him in a heated exchange with Victorino.
Manuel talked about Lee’s concentration being entirely on his Friday night start rather than the costly Game 2 loss in last year’s division series before the game and he also discussed how the Phillies should approach their at-bats against St. Louis starter Kyle Lohse.
“Lohse is good and we’re going to have to make him throw the ball over the plate and be selective,” Manuel said.
The Phillies did that in the first two innings, forcing Lohse to throw a total of 16 pitches in the first and 26 in the second. But then they managed just one hit over the next three innings.
Lee helped even the score in the seventh when he led off with his second hit, a single to right field. After Rollins lined out to right field, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny called in righthander Mitchell Boggs.
Pierre hit Boggs’ second pitch, a 92-m.p.h. sinker into left-center field for a game-tying double.