Instant Replay: Phillies 8, Cardinals 2 (6½ innings)

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Instant Replay: Phillies 8, Cardinals 2 (6½ innings)

BOX SCORE

Roy Halladay had another strong outing and the Phillies' bats finally came alive in an 8-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night.

The game was called after 6½ innings because of rain.

The Phils out-hit the Cards, 10-2, in snapping a four-game losing streak.

The Phillies are now 7-10. St. Louis is 9-7.

The attendance at Citizens Bank Park was 34,092.

Starting pitching report
Halladay followed up eight innings of one-run ball against lowly Miami with seven innings of two-run ball against a much more formidable Cardinals lineup. Halladay allowed just two hits, both solo homers. He walked two and struck out six. Halladay’s fastball reached 92 mph, a good sign, but his ball-to-strike ratio was not good. He threw 50 balls and 59 strikes for 109 pitches. He threw a first-pitch strike to just 11 of 25 hitters.

The Phillies had struggled against left-handed pitching, hitting just .131 (11 for 84) with four extra-base hits, coming into the game. But they had no trouble with St. Louis lefty Jaime Garcia, who allowed nine hits and eight runs in three innings. Four of the runs that Garcia allowed were unearned after a first-inning error. The Phils had four extra-base hits against Garcia.

At the plate
The Phils avoided the ignominy of becoming the first team since 1920 to go without a walk for five straight games when Chase Utley drew a base on balls in the first inning. The Phils had two walks for the game.

Jimmy Rollins, John Mayberry Jr., Ben Revere and Humberto Quintero all had two hits apiece. Quintero drove in two runs. Michael Young ran his hitting streak to 10 straight games.

The Phils were 6 for 11 with runners in scoring position.

In the field
Lifelong infielder Freddy Galvis started his second game in left field and made two big catches, one on a long run and a slide, in the fourth inning. Centerfielder Revere made a diving catch in the sixth.

Former Phillie Ty Wigginton made a two-out error at third base for the Cardinals. It opened the door for four unearned runs in the first inning. Wigginton made eight errors in 22 games at third base for the Phils last season.

Health check
Ryan Howard had some soreness in his groin and did not start against the lefty Garcia, which was convenient because Howard is 0 for 15 with eight strikeouts against lefties this season. Howard is day-to-day.

Domonic Brown missed his second straight start with a sore back. Manager Charlie Manuel said Brown could return on Saturday night.

Carlos Ruiz was hit by a pitch on the left wrist while playing in an extended spring training game in Florida on Friday. An X-ray was negative. Ruiz's suspension will end a week from Sunday when the Phillies are in New York.

Up next
Cliff Lee (2-0, 1.52) and Lance Lynn (2-0, 5.40) are the pitchers Saturday night at 7:05 p.m.

The Phils have not named a starter to replace John Lannan on Monday. That is Jonathan Pettibone’s day to pitch at Triple A. Pettibone has struggled in his first two starts, but he is on the 40-man roster, which could make him a candidate for the spot start. B.J. Rosenberg and Tyler Cloyd are also on the 40-man roster and could be possibilities. Adam Morgan is considered the Phils’ most advanced minor-league pitching prospect, but he would have to work on short rest Monday. It’s possible Morgan could be in the picture when he’s on regular rest. This is all speculation as Phillies officials have not tipped their hand on how they will fill Monday’s start.

Phillies make significant promotion in sending prospect Scott Kingery to Triple A

Phillies make significant promotion in sending prospect Scott Kingery to Triple A

PHOENIX -- Everything that happens in this Phillies season is geared toward the future.
 
With that, the team made some significant news Sunday night when it promoted prospect Scott Kingery, a hard-hitting, 23-year-old second baseman, to Triple A Lehigh Valley.
 
Kingery had torn up the Double A Eastern League, hitting .313 with 18 homers, 44 RBIs and a .987 OPS in 69 games at Reading.
 
"This was our target date," director of player development Joe Jordan said Sunday night. "We had been talking about it for quite some time. There really wasn't any magic to it. We had wanted to get him 425 to 450 at-bats at the Double A level and we've done that. It's time for a new challenge."
 
Kingery played in 39 games at Double A last season and returned there to open this season. He ended up hitting .290 in 434 at-bats at that level.
 
"Offense, defense, baserunning — it's the whole package," Jordan said. "He impacts the game in a lot of ways every night."
 
Kingery will become the everyday second baseman at Triple A, joining an infield that already includes prospects J.P Crawford at shortstop and Rhys Hoskins at first base. Depending on what the Phillies do with Cesar Hernandez over winter — he was available for a trade but at a very steep price last winter, sources say — Kingery could be the Phillies' opening day second baseman in 2018. That's incumbent on him continuing to improve, of course.
 
Kingery was a former walk-on at the University of Arizona (see story). He blossomed into a PAC-12 batting champion and conference player of the year before being selected by the Phillies in the second round of the 2015 draft.
 
Kingery was a spring-training standout, leading manager Pete Mackanin to say, "He might be on a fast track to the big leagues."

But barring an unforeseen development, it's highly unlikely that Kingery will get to the majors this season. He does not have to be protected on the 40-man roster until after the 2018 season and with a number of prospects requiring protection from the Rule 5 draft this winter the Phils will probably hold off on adding Kingery to the roster until they are sure he's ready to come to the majors and stay.

Phillies lose No. 50, but Jeremy Hellickson shines with trade deadline beginning to loom

Phillies lose No. 50, but Jeremy Hellickson shines with trade deadline beginning to loom

BOX SCORE

PHOENIX -- The Phillies lost for the 50th time in 74 games Sunday afternoon when the Arizona Diamondbacks pushed across a run in the bottom of the 11th inning to score a 2-1 decision under the roof at Chase Field.
 
After the loss, manager Pete Mackanin praised his team, the worst in baseball, for playing so many opponents tough lately. On the surface, that sounded like a hollow platitude, but the analytics show that Mackanin is right. Sunday's loss was the Phillies' sixth extra-innings defeat in the last two weeks.
 
It was their majors-high eighth walk-off loss of the season (see Instant Replay).
 
"Once again, not enough offense," Mackanin said. "But we've been playing teams tough."
 
Starting pitching, for the most part, has kept the Phillies in games lately.
 
That was the reason they were in Sunday's game.
 
Jeremy Hellickson enjoyed his second straight strong outing. He pitched three-hit, one-run ball over six walk-free innings and struck out seven.
 
That was the most important development of the day because the Phillies need Hellickson to make a little trade-deadline push if they're going to get a piece to add to their rebuild for him. After a poor May and a tough start to June, Hellickson is trending in the right direction. Over his last two starts, he has allowed just two runs and two walks in 13 innings. His command is back. He's working the lowest reaches of the strikeout and getting outs with his changeup.
 
If he keeps this up, he will escape baseball's worst club for a pennant race.
 
Hellickson, a free agent at season's end, laughed when that thought was presented to him.
 
"Let’s just keep pitching like this and see what happens," he said. "Like I’ve told you guys, I want to be here. We’ll see."
 
But wouldn't it be nice to have a chance to go to the World Series?
 
"Yeah, absolutely," he said. "But at the same time, I think we’re not that far off with the guys we have coming up. I think if we just stayed healthy this year it would be a lot better. Yeah, I would like to be here for when things turn around, but at the same time it’s always fun to play in October."
 
The only run that Hellickson gave up Sunday came with no outs in the fourth inning when Nick Ahmed doubled and scored on a single by Paul Goldschmidt. That run might not have scored had leftfielder Cameron Perkins been quicker to the ball, but Ahmed at one point looked like he was going to stop and Perkins wanted to make sure he hit the cutoff man to keep Goldschmidt anchored at first.
 
Mackanin acknowledged that was a big play.
 
He also acknowledged that Maikel Franco getting picked off second base after a leadoff double in the second inning was big.

Big, as in damaging.
 
"Big play, but you know what?" Mackanin said. "How many runs did we score? All those things matter, but we have to put some crooked numbers up and we haven't been doing it."
 
The Phils have scored just three runs in losing the last two days to Arizona and two of those runs came on a grip-and-rip home run by pitcher Ben Lively. The Phils went 6 2/3 innings before scoring in this one. Howie Kendrick plated the run with a bloop, pinch-hit single down the right-field line with two outs in the top of the seventh. The Phillies left a runner on third base in the fifth and sixth innings.
 
The bullpen — particularly Luis Garcia with two scoreless innings — did a good job keeping the game tied until Edubray Ramos allowed a two-out single to Goldschmidt and a 12-pitch walk to Chris Owings, setting up Daniel Descalso for the game-winning hit, a ground ball between first and second, in the 11th.

The loss left the Phillies at 24-50 overall and 10-30 on the road.