Clutch hits propel Phillies to late win over Cardinals

Clutch hits propel Phillies to late win over Cardinals

April 22, 2013, 1:15 am

BOX SCORE

Ben Revere had an audience of reporters in stitches as he recounted his personal low point in Sunday night’s game.

Revere had come to the plate with one out, the bases loaded and the game tied in the bottom of the sixth inning. It was his chance to do some damage, to give the Phillies a lead. He grounded into a deflating inning-ending double play.

“I was really ticked,” Revere said. “I thought that sucker was up the middle but it just stuck there and the shortstop grabbed it.”

Revere was still upset when he came back to the dugout after the next half inning so he retreated to the clubhouse and remembered some advice his mother had given him: When things aren’t going well, find a quiet place, “your happy place,” Revere said, and re-focus.

“I gave myself a time out,” he said. “I came to my happy place and it helped me.”

Two innings after grounding into that double play, Revere lined a pitch up the middle to break a tie and help propel the Phillies to a 7-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals (see Instant Replay).

The Phillies, still spinning their wheels 19 games into the season, are 8-11.

Clutch hits haven’t been easy to come by for this Phillies team, but they were plentiful in the late innings of this game.

The Phils fell behind, 3-2, in the top of the seventh when a two-base error by Chase Utley led to an unearned run.

Number-eight hitter Erik Kratz started a string of big hits late in the game when he opened the bottom of the seventh with a single off Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook. Pinch-hitter Laynce Nix then had a terrific, 10-pitch at-bat against reliever Fernando Salas that culminated with Nix driving a game-tying double to left-center. Kratz, not the fleetest runner on the roster, scored in a mad first-to-home dash.

The hits kept coming in the eighth –- six of them to be exact.

It all started with Michael Young’s infield hit off reliever Mitchell Boggs’ glove. The hit improved Young’s hitting streak to 12 games. The next batter, Domonic Brown, singled, and Revere followed with his tie-breaking hit. One pitch later, Kratz pounded a fastball deep into the night for a three-run homer as the Phillies won going away.

The bottom of the order really keyed the Phillies’ comeback. Young, hitting fifth, had an important infield hit. Brown, hitting sixth, had a couple of walks and an important hit in the eighth. Revere, hitting seventh, had the tie-breaking hit. Kratz, hitting eighth, had two huge hits in the seventh and eighth. And pinch-hitters Nix and Kevin Frandsen came through in the nine-hole.

“It was a good team win,” Revere said.

Manager Charlie Manuel hoped a win like this, where the Phils overcame an error and turned it on late, would get his team moving in the right direction.

“We have to put all phases of our game together and let it run like a machine,” he said. “We’re not there yet. Hopefully tonight will get us started.”

Starting pitcher Kyle Kendrick struggled to keep his pitch count down, but he still managed to give his club six innings on a night when he didn’t have his best stuff. Kendrick stranded runners at second and third in the second and did some nifty escape work in the fourth and sixth innings. He got big outs with runners in scoring position in both innings.

“He hung in there and did a really good job,” Manuel said.

“On nights you don’t have your good stuff you have to battle and keep your team in the game,” Kendrick said. “I was able to keep the damage at a minimum. It was a nice win for us.”

The eighth-inning rally sent the crowd of 35,115 home happy. Earlier in the game, the fans were a little upset. Maybe it was an early base-running blunder by Utley or a ball falling in front of Brown in left field. Some fans thought Brown should have made the play and they let him hear about it. When Brown did make a catch later that inning, he earned some mockapplause.

By the end of the night, the applause was real. The Phillies got some clutch hits and everyone left happy.

More Team Talk