PHILADELPHIA — Erik Kratz sprinted like mad from first to home to score the tying run in the seventh inning.
Pretty good legs for a catcher.
Kratz enjoyed his next trip around the bases so much more — this time, with a leisurely jog. He hit a three-run home run to break the game open in the eighth inning and lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a 7-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday night.
Mike Adams (1-1) tossed a scoreless eighth inning to help the Phillies split the four-game series. The Phillies snapped a 3-3 tie with a four-run eighth that put the game away.
Michael Young extended his hitting streak to 12 games with an infield single off reliever Mitchell Boggs (0-2). Dom Brown singled to put runners on the corners with one out. Ben Revere made it 4-3 on a go-ahead single up the middle.
Kratz then hit the first pitch deep into the left-field seats for a three-run homer and a 7-3 lead.
"I was able to put the barrel on it and that’s the name of the game," he said. "It’s a great feeling, it really is."
He also came up big in the seventh inning when he scored the tying run. He opened the inning with a single that chased Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook. Laynce Nix hit a pinch-hit double into the left-centre gap off reliever Fernando Salas that made it 3-3.
The Phillies (8-11) hoped this win can turn around their season.
"I like a lot of it," manager Charlie Manuel said. "But it’s still about putting it all together and let it run like a machine. We’re not quite there yet. Hopefully, tonight got it started."
The Phillies tied it quickly after St. Louis went ahead in the top of the inning.
Jon Jay scooted to second to start the inning on a two-base throwing error by second baseman Chase Utley. Utley charged the grounder and his errant throw to the right of first baseman Ryan Howard pulled him off the bag. Jay went to third on a sacrifice bunt and Carlos Beltran walked.
Chad Durbin relieved Antonio Bastardo and promptly gave up Allen Craig’s RBI single that bounced over the glove of diving shortstop Jimmy Rollins to make it 3-2. Durbin left the bases loaded and stranded his first inherited runner of the season (8 of 9).
Utley, long one of Philadelphia’s most reliable players, had a weird game full of mental and throwing errors.
After his baserunning gaffe in the first ran the Phillies out of a scoring chance, Utley tried to atone in the sixth. His drive to centre off Westbrook one-hopped over the wall for a double. Westbrook walked Young and Brown to load the bases.
There was a meeting at the mound — and whatever was said, it worked on Westbrook. He retired Revere on an inning-ending double play to escape the jam and run of the mound with the game still tied.
"It was what I was looking for," Westbrook said.
Westbrook struck out four and walked four in six-plus innings.
Boggs allowed all four runs in the eighth and continues to struggle.
"He’s a big part of our club. He’ll get over it," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "I don’t see it as mechanical so much as it is about confidence. He’s had some good outings, but he struggled tonight."
Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick struck out six, walked one and gave up eight hits in six innings. Jonathan Papelbon, one of four Philadelphia relievers, tossed a scoreless ninth.
Matt Carpenter’s solo shot, his second, in the first inning gave the Cardinals the early 1-0 lead.
Jimmy Rollins, who loves swinging at the first pitch, worked a nine-pitch at bat and tripled to lead off the first. He scored on Utley’s RBI single to right. Ryan Howard made it 2-1 on a sacrifice fly, scoring John Mayberry Jr., who had walked.
The Cardinals tied in the sixth with Kendrick labouring at over 100 pitches. Craig singled and Matt Adams doubled to put runners at second and third. David Freese’s grounder made it 2-2.
The Phillies had 14 hits and the Cardinals 10 in a game that saw each team use five pitchers.
Notes: The Phillies are set to promote RHP Jonathan Pettibone from Triple-A Lehigh Valley and make him Monday’s starter against Pittsburgh. Pettibone, one of the team’s top prospects, will start for injured John Lannan. Lannan is on the 15-day DL with a knee injury. They optioned LHP Joe Savery to Lehigh to make room. … Phillies OF Delmon Young began a rehab assignment Sunday with Class-A Clearwater. Young, who is rehabbing an ankle injury, went 1 for 4. … Phillies C Carlos Ruiz will have a second X-ray on his wrist Monday. He was hit on the left wrist by a pitch in an extended spring training game Friday. An All-Star last year, Ruiz is suspended for the first 25 games for testing positive for an amphetamine. … Beltran saw his home run streak end at three consecutive games.