Lohse helps Cards rebound, beat Phillies

June 14, 2008 7:40:32 PM PDT
Kyle Lohse brought his best for the team that failed to re-sign him over the winter. Lohse pitched a season-high eight innings of four-hit ball and Adam Kennedy hit a two-run home run, helping the St. Louis Cardinals rebound from their worst loss at 3-year-old Busch Stadium with a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday.

"Obviously, they felt they didn't need me bad enough," Lohse said. "I didn't mind going out there and beating them today, I'll tell you that."

Lohse (8-2) was hurt only by Pat Burrell's two-run homer in the fourth in an outing that took pressure off a bullpen that pitched 5 2-3 innings in a 20-2 loss on Friday night.

The Cardinals activated closer Jason Isringhausen and recalled right-hander Anthony Reyes earlier in the day due to the arms shortage, but Lohse minimized concerns when he entered the eighth with a 101-pitch count and then worked a 1-2-3 inning against the top of the Phillies' order.

"They wanted me to give them as much as I could," Lohse said. "I wanted to give them everything I could."

Stand-in closer Ryan Franklin needed four pitches to get three outs for his ninth save in 12 chances. Right fielder Ryan Ludwick made a diving catch to rob Geoff Jenkins to end the game and raised his glove in triumph to sell the play, although replays appeared to indicate he had trapped the ball.

"Going back on tape it looks like it might have hit the ground first," Ludwick said. "It happened so fast, I just pulled it up."

After watching a replay, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel maintained that the call had been blown.

"That didn't lose the game for us," Manuel said. "But at the same time, we'd still be hitting with a man on first base. Who knows, somebody might pop one."

Franklin was among the relievers who got smacked around Friday night, allowing two runs and four hits in one-third of an inning. This time: "Short and sweet."

Losing pitcher Adam Eaton (2-4) got two of the four hits off Lohse. Eaton allowed three runs and nine hits in 6 2-3 innings.

"I'm happy I went deep into the game," Eaton said. "But at the same time, I caused some problems for myself."

The Cardinals beat the Phillies for only the third time in 11 meetings at 3-year-old Busch Stadium. Philadelphia had been averaging 7.5 runs in its previous 22 games against St. Louis.

The Phillies offered Lohse a three-year contract for around $21 million after he helped them make the playoffs last fall but he held out for a better deal before settling for a one-year, $4.25 million free agent deal with the Cardinals in mid-March. He won his fifth straight start and benefited from outstanding plays from shortstop Cesar Izturis, Kennedy at second and third baseman Troy Glaus.

Lohse said he didn't have much time to consider the Phillies' offer, saying it was gone "about a week" later, and had no other offers until signing with the Cardinals. Manuel said Lohse's familiarity with the Phillies had to help.

"He knew how to pitch us," Manuel said. "He had a game plan and he stayed with it. We didn't have many chances, and the chances we had we didn't do much with."

Izturis robbed Pedro Feliz on a hard grounder in the hole in the fourth, Kennedy made a nice play on Ryan Howard's smash up the middle to start the sixth and Glaus made a great play on Burrell's shot down the line in the next at-bat.

Skip Schumaker and Kennedy, the top two hitters in the order, combined for four hits and scored three runs. Kennedy hit his first homer of the season off Eaton (2-4) after Schumaker's leadoff single in the first, and Ryan Ludwick's two-out RBI hit made it 3-0 in the third.

Kennedy bunted foul for the first strike before connecting on a 1-2 pitch.

"When you don't hit many you don't really ever know," Kennedy said. "You just kind of run it out and see what happens, but I knew I hit it OK."

Burrell hit his 18th homer, and second in two days, in the fourth after Howard's leadoff single. Lohse retired 12 of the next 13 batters.

Notes: The Phillies have a pair of 20-run games this season after totaling three in a 52-year span from 1956-2007. They're the first team to do it twice since the A's in 2000. ... Lohse is 12-2 since last July 25, a major league best .857 winning percentage. He's pitched six or fewer innings in six of his victories this season. ... The Phillies are 4-8 in one-run games on the road, and 13-13 overall. ... Schumaker is a career .400 hitter (18-for-45) against the Phillies after going 2-for-4.