(Sports Network) – Home runs are not easy to hit, but the St. Louis Cardinals made it their job in last night’s win over the Philadelphia Phillies. The NL Central-leading Cardinals will try to go deep again Tuesday in the second installment of this four-game series at Busch Stadium.
The Cardinals were down by two in the fifth inning of Monday’s game before Albert Pujols cracked a two-run homer followed by solo shots from Allen Craig and Skip Schumaker one out later to take the lead for good. Randy Winn then led off the sixth inning with a home run for the Cardinals, who went on to post an 8-4 victory, their sixth in a row.
Pujols collected two hits and three runs batted in, while Jon Jay went 2-for-3 with an RBI in a winning effort. Blake Hawksworth managed to pick up the win even though he gave up four runs and 10 hits over six innings of work.
“I got us in a hole early, but they picked me up and got the ‘W’,” Hawksworth said.
St. Louis was coming off a four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers and is 5-0 on an eight-game homestand. It also sits a half-game ahead of Cincinnati in the NL Central standings.
The Cardinals have a good shot at staying on top in the division with Chris Carpenter slated to take the mound Tuesday night. Carpenter ended a three- start winless streak (0-2) the last time out on Thursday in a 7-1 win over the visiting Dodgers, as he tossed eight innings of one-run ball with six K’s.
Carpenter pushed his mark to 10-3 in 20 starts to go along with a 3.16 earned run average. The right-hander and 2005 NL Cy Young Award winner is 7-2 in 11 home starts this season and will make his ninth career start against the Phillies. Carpenter is 4-2 with a less desirable 5.73 ERA in his first eight appearances against Philadelphia.
The Cardinals are 37-21 in games started by Adam Wainwright, Carpenter and Jaime Garcia this season.
Philadelphia’s start of the second half hasn’t gone as planned, having dropped two straight and four of five games since the All-Star break. The Phillies, who entered the midway point of the season with a four-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds, got a rough outing from starter Kyle Kendrick last night.
Kendrick was 4-0 in his career against St. Louis before surrendering seven runs on seven hits and three walks in five innings of work. Chad Durbin gave up the only run in relief for the Phillies, who are now six games off the lead in the National League East Division.
“My command was off all night. I was falling behind hitters,” Kendrick said.
Shane Victorino had two RBI and Ryan Howard chipped in a pair of hits and knocked in a run in defeat. Jimmy Rollins had an RBI as well for the Phillies, who recently lost three of four games in Chicago and are 18-12 against NL Central foes in 2010.
Jamie Moyer has fared well in his career against St. Louis, going 5-1 with a 2.34 ERA in 12 games (11 starts), and will take the mound Tuesday. Moyer has lost three straight starts since a personal three-game winning streak and lasted just three innings in Thursday’s 12-6 road setback against the Cubs.
Moyer allowed six runs and five hits to fall to 9-9 in 18 starts to go along with a 4.88 earned run average. The veteran lefty is 4-6 in 10 road starts this season.
The Phillies had a four-game winning streak in the Gateway City come to an end last night. They still lead the 2010 season series by a 3-2 count.