33 games in 31 days: Game #23: The Phils’ offense rally too late as they lose to the Cardinals, 4-3.

The Phils’ rally in the ninth comes up a run short as they lose to the Cardinals, 4-3.

The Cardinals took the lead in the first as, with a runner on third, and with nobody out, Nick Punto hits an RBI ground out, 3-unassisted, knocking in Rufael Furcal, who had started the game off with a double, then went to third on Carlos Ruiz’s passed ball, giving the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. Two batters later, the Cardinals, now with two men out, took a 2-0 lead as Lance Berkman hits a solo home run, his thirty-first home run of the year. The Phils got a run back in the second as, with two men on, and with two men out, Ruiz hits an RBI single, scoring Placido Polanco, who had earlier singled, then was safe at second on a force attempt fielding error on a Ross Gload grounder committed by second baseman Punto, cutting the Cards’ lead down to 2-1, while sending Gload, who was safe at first on the error, up to second base. The Cards got the run back in the third as, with runners on the corners, and with two men out, Berkman hits an RBI single, scoring Kyle Lohse, who had earlier doubled, then went to third on Furcal’s sacrifice bunt, 5-4, giving the Cards a 3-1 lead, while sending Punto, who had just walked, on to second base. The Cards then added to their lead in the seventh as, with one man on, and with two men out, Albert Pujols hits an RBI double, scoring Punto, who had just walked, giving the Cards a 4-1 lead. The Phils tried to come back in the ninth as, with a runner on second, and with one man out, Jimmy Rollins hits an RBI triple, scoring Ruiz, who had earlier doubled, making it a 4-2 Cards’ lead. Shane Victorino then knocked Rollins in with an RBI ground out, 6-3, making it a 4-3 Cardinals’ lead. But that would end up being the final score as Octavio Dotel recorded his third save of the year by getting Hunter Pence to ground out, 5-3, for the final out.

Roy Halladay (18-6, 2.41) took the lost as he went eight innings, giving up four runs on six hits and four walks, while striking out six. David Herndon pitched a scoreless inning, as he gave up a hit, while striking out two. Kyle Lohse (14-8, 3.47) got the win as he pitched seven and a third innings, giving up an unearned run on seven hits and a walk, while he struck out five. Marc Rzepczynski recorded his eighteenth hold of the year as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a walk, while striking out a batter. Jason Motte also recorded his eighteenth hold of the season as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on two hits, while striking out a batter. Arthur Rhodes pitched to one batter, giving up a hit. Octavio Dotel recorded his third save of the season as he pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face.

The Phils had ten hits in the ballgame, with Hunter Pence (Singles), Ross Gload (Single, Double) and Carlos Ruiz (Single, Double, RBI) all leading the team with two hits each. Jimmy Rollins (Triple, RBI), Shane Victorino (Single, RBI), Chase Utley (Single), and Placido Polanco (Single), had the other four Phils’ hits.

The Phils (98-54, 1st) begin their final home stand of the regular season with the first of two games with the Nationals (72-79, 4th), that’s already in progress.

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