Ben Revere and Erik Kratz, both scuffling at the plate, delivered clutch hits to turn a 3-3 deadlock in the eighth inning into a 7-3 Phillies win over the Cardinals.
With runners on first and third and one out in the second half of the eighth, Revere lined a laser up the middle to plate the go-ahead run. And before you could blink, Kratz crushed a three-run home run to deep left field on the very next pitch, putting the game away and sending the Phillies to 8-11 overall.
Prior to their timely hits, Revere and Kratz's batting averages were hovering just above the Mendoza line (.200). The speedy Revere lost his leadoff duties and grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the sixth, while Kratz came into Sunday hitting .192 with an on-base percentage of .189.
In Sunday's win, however, they combined to go 3 for 8 and knocked in four of the Phillies' seven runs.
Before Revere and Kratz's heroics, Laynce Nix continued his terrific work pinch hitting. With the Phillies trailing 3-2 in the seventh, Nix came off the bench and tatooed an RBI double to left-center field to set up the Phillies' big eighth. Nix grinded out a 10-pitch at-bat before coming through with the game-tying base knock. The 32-year-old is now 5 for 10 with five RBIs as a pinch-hitter this season.
It wasn't all gravy, though, for the Phillies on Sunday.
Take away Revere and Kratz in the eighth, the Phillies are 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position instead of finishing 3 for 12.
Middle relief was an issue entering Sunday night and it only got worse. Chad Durbin inherited two runners in the seventh and let one score to give the Cardinals a 3-2 lead. The veteran right-hander has now inherited nine runners thus far, eight of which have scored.
The defense was also a bit shaky.
Here are some of the pluses aside from the aforementioned Revere and Kratz:
• Kyle Kendrick labored early (50 pitches in first two innings), but threw his third consecutive quality start (6 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 6 K, 1 BB).
• Jimmy Rollins went 3 for 5 in the leadoff spot. It was his first three-hit game of 2013.
• Mike Adams earned the win by breezing through the eighth (nine pitches, six strikes).
• The Phillies worked four walks against St. Louis starter Jake Westbrook.
• Michael Young extended his hitting streak to 12 games with an infield single in the eighth inning.
The Phillies now welcome the Pittsburgh Pirates to Citizens Bank Park for a four-game set. Here are the probable pitching matchups:
Monday -- RH A.J. Burnett (1-2, 2.63) vs. RH Jonathan Pettibone (MLB debut)
Tuesday -- LH Jeff Locke (1-1, 5.17) vs. LH Cole Hamels (0-2, 6.46)
Wednesday -- LH Wandy Rodriguez (2-0, 0.56) vs. RH Roy Halladay (2-2, 6.04)
Thursday -- RH James McDonald (2-2, 4.12) vs. LH Cliff Lee (2-1, 2.83)