for this game

Howard powers Phillies past Cardinals

Jul 10, 2008 - 10:21 PM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Ryan Howard not only continues to hit home runs, he is also raising his batting average slowly but surely.

Howard took over the major league lead with two home runs and drove in three runs to lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in the rubber game of a three-game series on Thursday.

It was the Phillies' first series win at Citizens Bank Park since they took three of four from the Cincinnati Reds during the first week of June.

"The way we've been scuffling over the past couple of series, to be able to win the series against St. Louis puts us on the right track to try and finish strong," Howard said.

Jamie Moyer (8-6) pitched seven strong innings for the win. The 45-year-old allowed a run while scattering seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts. The lefthander notched his first victory since June 12, a span of five starts.

"The thing I can look at is, I'm still doing it (at age 45)." Moyer said. "Not to throw it in anybody's face or be stupid about it, but you know what? I'm proud of that. I feel good that I can come here every day and do my work. I can go out on the field. I can compete and help our team to win."

Both of Howard's homers were opposite field shots off St. Louis starter Braden Looper. He hit a two-run blast to left-center in the first inning before leading off the sixth with his 27th homer of the season. For Howard, it was his fourth multi-homer game this year and 16th career.

"That's basically what I've been trying to do lately," Howard said of his opposite field hitting. "Just see pitches as long as possible and just try and hit them where they're pitched."

Howard came into the contest tied with teammate Chase Utley for the major league lead in home runs. Howard laughed when asked if he said something to Utley about passing him in homers.

"No, not really. Nothing out of the ordinary," Howard said. Strike that question from the record."

Howard's average had been as low as .182 in mid-May, but lifted it to .234 after going 2-for-4 on Thursday, increasing his hitting streak to 13 games. He also leads the National League with 83 RBI.

"Getting off to the slow start with the (low) average and everything has been a grind," Howard said. "It's been a learning process for me. The average may not be there right now, but I'm just going out there doing what I can right now."

Howard had also been striking out at an alarming rate to begin the season and has 125 thus far, but Phillies manager Charlie Manuel feels the slugger can get back to the numbers he posted during his 2006 MVP season, which included a .313 batting average.

"When he hits for a higher average, you'll see his strikeouts go down," Manuel said. "I think he proved a couple of years ago what kind of season he's capable of having and I think he'll get back there eventually.

"Would you take him out of your lineup? He does about twice as much as the other guys do. How can you take him out of your lineup? The numbers tell the story."

With Phillies closer Brad Lidge given the day off, Ryan Madson pitched 1 1/3 innings and J.C. Romero retired the final two batters for his fourth career save and first in the National League.

"Everybody in the bullpen is ready whenever our name is called," Romero said. "That's our mentality. Nobody knew that Lidge was (unavailable) today. It was our duty to step up and close that game up. Every time that our closer is earning a day off, we've got to step up as a unit."

After the Cardinals left two on in the top of the first inning, the Phillies capitalized in the bottom half to take a 2-0 lead. With a runner on first and two outs, Howard fouled off three straight pitches during a 10-pitch at-bat before lining a 3-2 offering into the left-center field seats for a two-run home run.

Utley increased Philadelphia's margin to 3-0 with a two-out, RBI double in the third. St. Louis got on the board in the fourth on a two-out, RBI single by Yadier Molina.

Looper (9-7) went six innings and gave up four runs on seven hits.

"(Looper) made some good pitches and some not so good," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "He was okay."






  • 5
    roots
    Jamesiae Added 5 roots

    Cardinals 1, Phillies 4  FinalJul 10 4:03 PM


  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ST LOUIS 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 8 0
    PHILADELPHIA 2 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 x 4 10 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: STL - BRADEN LOOPER, RUSS SPRINGER (7TH), RON VILLONE (7TH), CHRIS
    PEREZ (8TH) AND YADIER MOLINA
    PHI - JAMIE MOYER, RYAN MADSON (8TH), J.C. ROMERO (9TH)
    AND CHRIS

    Jul 10 4:03 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY RYAN HOWARD (27) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    6TH OFF BRADEN LOOPER.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 1, PHILADELPHIA 4
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: P BURRELL (.280, 0-FOR-2)

    Cardinals 1, Phillies 4  Bot 6, 0 OutsJul 10 2:44 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY YADIER MOLINA SCORED TROY GLAUS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, Y MOLINA ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 1
    PHILADELPHIA 3 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: C DUNCAN (.244, 1-FOR-1)

    Cardinals 1, Phillies 3  Top 4, 0 OutsJul 10 2:06 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CHASE UTLEY SCORED JIMMY ROLLINS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C UTLEY ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 0
    PHILADELPHIA 3 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: R HOWARD (.233, 1-FOR-1, HR, 2 RBI)

    Cardinals 0, Phillies 3  Bot 3, 0 OutsJul 10 1:59 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY RYAN HOWARD (26) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 2
    OUT IN THE 1ST OFF BRADEN LOOPER SCORED CHASE UTLEY.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 0, PHILADELPHIA 2
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: P BURRELL (.282, 22 HR, 54 RBI)

    Cardinals 0, Phillies 2  Bot 1, 0 OutsJul 10 1:27 PM