(BaseballStL) – Shelby Miller gave the Cardinals another quality start Saturday night while providing some offense of his own in their 5-3 victory over the Phillies, but for the third time in four starts he took a no decision as the bullpen was unable to hold onto the lead.
Miller threw 6.0 innings while giving up three earned runs, one a homer to St. Louis-native Ryan Howard. But Miller had a 5-3 lead as he exited the game, handing it over to Randy Choate. With no one out, Pat Neshek allowed a single to Marlon Byrd that scored two to tie the game heading into the ninth.
In the ninth, the Cards missed on a big opportunity when Kolten Wong led off the inning with a ground rule double. Matt Holliday was then hit by the pitch to put two runners on and no outs. But Matt Adams, Jhonny Peralta and AJ Pierzynski all failed in any attempt to score a run despite Wong stealing third as Peralta struck out.
“Shelby was real good today,” manager Mike Matheny said, “It was real nice to see some of his better stuff. It’s going to get over-shadowed because it doesn’t even seem like it happened today.”
It would actually take the Cardinals until the stroke of midnight on the East Coast for them to win.
The Redbirds had chances in the 10th and 11th innings, but they went on to strand five base runners as Pierzynski grounded into a double play to end the 11th inning. But the Cardinals finally broke through in their half of the 12th after a lead-off walk was issued to Daniel Descalso. Jon Jay sacrificed Descalso to second and he moved to third on an infield chopper that Peter Bourjos easily beat out at first.
Then Matt Carpenter delivered with a long fly ball to left field, plenty deep enough for Descalso to score without a throw.
“We got some big at-bats at the end,” Matheny added, “They had a lot of opportunities today, a lot of guys in scoring position and couldn’t get it done. Normally that doesn’t work out well when you can’t produce in those big situations, but we got just enough today.”
Trevor Rosenthal came in to relieve Seth Maness to close out the game with two pop outs and a strike out to beat the Phillies. The Milwaukee Brewers lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates which pulls the Cardinals to 0.5 out of first place in the NL Central.
Injury note: Matt Adams was slow to get up in the 12th inning after a throw from Rosenthal pulled him off first base. After the game, Matheny said they play had tweaked Adams’ back, but that he was alright.