It’s the Phillies fourth straight defeat, dropping them to 6-10 for their worst start through 16 games since 2007.
Trailing by a run in their final at-bats, the Phillies put runners on first and third with no outs, but could do nothing with it. Kevin Frandsen grounded out to short, moving Erik Kratz to second, but not Ben Revere from third to home. Jimmy Rollins was incapable of putting the ball in play and went down swinging on five pitches, which led to Freddy Galvis completing the failed threat by grounding out to second.
Cole Hamels put together his second consecutive quality start, hurling seven innings of three-run ball, while striking out eight. That line, however, went for a no-decision.
Hamels is now winless through his first four starts of the season for the first time since 2009. That year was the only other season he’s ever gone winless in his first four starts as a major-leaguer.
Hamels was also dealt some tough luck. With a runner on first and no outs in the fourth inning, Allen Craig hit a fly ball to right-center that John Mayberry would have easily caught, but he tripped and fell, allowing the ball to drop for a double. The Cardinals took advantage on the ensuing at-bat, as Yadier Molina doubled just barely fair (according to first base umpire Alan Porter) down the right field line to hand St. Louis a 2-0 lead.
Twice the Phillies rallied to tie the game, and twice they gave the lead right back the following frame.
Down 2-0 in the sixth, Galvis and Chase Utley delivered RBI hits to knot the score, but Hamels was unable to keep it tied. In the top of the seventh, he surrendered a sac fly to Pete Kozma.
Kratz quickly evened the score with an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh, but Carlos Beltran snatched back the Cardinals’ advantage by lining a solo home run off Mike Adams in the eighth, which was the final difference. Laynce Nix had a chance to prove otherwise, but struck out in a pinch-hit appearance with two runners aboard and two outs in the eighth.
The Phillies banged out 13 hits, but did not walk for the fourth straight game. They became just the fourth NL team since 1935 to do just that.
Roy Halladay takes the bump for the Phillies Friday night. He opposes Jaime Garcia.