The Philadelphia Phillies (23-23) and St. Louis Cardinals (25-20) will continue a four-game National League series on Friday night at Busch Stadium, with the first pitch scheduled for 8:15 ET
Philadelphia Phillies at St. Louis Cardinals
Philadelphia won its second game in a row by collecting a season-high 18 hits, picking up a 10-9 road win over St. Louis on Thursday night. “I like the way we hit,” stated Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. “We’re talented, and we’re only going to get better.” The Phillies have done a good job with runners in scoring position for most of the season, entering last night’s game with a .258 average in the situation, ranking fourth among all NL teams. Philadelphia is 5-3 on the road when the money line is -100 to -125, and the “over” is 5-3 in those contests.
Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee (0-2, 2.66 ERA) is still searching for his first victory, with the club falling in defeat in five of his six starts. The left-hander was handed a 5-1 home loss to the Boston Red Sox last time out, giving up five runs and nine hits over seven frames. He has been nearly untouchable at home in two appearances, surrendering just a single run and nine hits over 16 frames (0.56 ERA). In four career games versus the Cardinals, Lee has tallied a 3-1 record and 1.48 ERA, with opposing hitters batting just .213 against him.
St. Louis has fallen from the top spot in the NL Central division for the first time this season, but the offense showed signs that it would reclaim that position down the road. The Cardinals finished with 15 hits and nine runs in the second game of this high-profile series. “We had nine innings to try and make a comeback,” commented Cardinals third baseman David Freese. “It just wasn’t enough tonight.” It’s important to note that the club is just 11-16 inside its current ball park against Philadelphia. St. Louis is 9-4 against left-handed starters this season.
Cardinals starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (5-1, 2.91 ERA) has failed to earn a decision in his last two efforts, allowing eight runs and 20 hits over 12.1 combined innings over that span. The right-hander is 1-0 with a 3.66 ERA in three home starts, issuing five walks and striking out 16 over 19.2 frames. In 10 career outings versus the Phillies, Lohse has compiled a 3-4 record and 3.43 ERA, including an even 1-1 mark and 1.76 ERA in two outings in 2011.
Bettors will likely back the Cardinals due to their 4-1 record in Lohse’s last five starts as an underdog, while the Phillies are 1-6 in Lee’s last seven efforts as a favorite.