(BaseballStL) — After 104 pitches, Wainwright handed the ball to Trevor Rosenthal, who made short work of the Philly hitters.
After two strikeouts and a walk, he got a comebacker from Cody Asche to end the game and give the Cardinals the win.
They have a chance for a series split Sunday.
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Every pitching duel has to have a loser, and in the eighth inning it was Matt Holliday that dealt the fatal blow to Cole Hamels.
After Matt Carpenter drew a leadoff walk, Hamels prolonged Allen Craig's at bat seemingly indefinitely by throwing over to first three straight times.
Craig eventually flew out harmlessly to center, but perhaps the extra tosses took their toll as Matt Holliday stepped in and got ahead 2-0.
On the fifth pitch of the at bat, he blasted a ball into the left center gap that rolled all the way to the wall.
It was enough to score Carpenter from first, and gave the Cardinals a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the eighth.
Reliever Jake Diekman hit Molina next, then things went from bad to worse when a passed ball moved both men into scoring position.
A grounder from Jhonny Peralta sent Holliday running for home, and Jimmy Rollins came up throwing there.
The throw beat Holliday easily, but the ball escaped Carlos Ruiz's mitt on the tag and the Cardinals had a 3-1 lead.
Another run would follow when Matt Adams took a ball to the warning track, allowing Molina to tag and score.
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The game plodded along after the third, with neither offense mounting much of a threat.
Adam Wainwright and Cole Hamels traded strikeouts and the bats remained quiet most of the time.
In the seventh, Mark Ellis reached base on a two-out single, the Cardinals' fourth hit of the day, before Adam Wainwright struck out for Hamels' eighth K of the game.
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The advantage didn't last long, as the eight and nine hitters put together back-to-back singles in the third.
After Cody Asche reached, Hamels sent him around to third with a ball into right.
Jimmy Rollins drove a ball to the track in right center that Peter Bourjos raced down, but Asche tagged and scored easily to tie the contest.
Carlos Ruiz was hit by a pitch next, to put two on with one out. Wainwright got Chase Utley to ground softly to Ellis, but it was too slow to turn two and both existing runners moved up a station.
With two men in scoring position, Ryan Howard stepped in. Wainwright fell behind 2-0 to the Philadelphia slugger before getting a shifted ground out to end the threat.
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After an Allen Craig single was undone by an inning-ending double play in the first, the Cardinals got on the board in the second.
Yadier Molina, batting cleanup, drew a 3-2 walk to begin the attack, and Jhonny Peralta followed with a double into left to put men at second and third for Matt Adams.
After a dicey called strike on the outside corner, the St. Louis first baseman turned on a ball to send it in the air to right. It would be caught, but it was deep enough to score Molina from third and give the Cards a 1-0 lead.
The run snapped a 24.2 inning scoreless streak for Cole Hamels.
Peter Bourjos tried to reach on a bunt, but catcher Carlos Ruiz made a smooth play and throw, catching the speedster before he reached to keep Peralta on third.
Mark Ellis would get called out on an arguable strike to end the inning, but Wainwright took a one run advantage to the mound.