With a key series against the Pittsburgh Pirates looming ahead, the St. Louis Cardinals needed as much momentum as they could get. As they entered Thursday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis was already seven games behind the Chicago Cubs in the National League Central division, and they stood at an even 14-14.
This game was huge as far as the early season is concerned.
Getting the start for the Cardinals was Jaime Garcia, who had gone winless in his last three starts for the team. Jerad Eickhoff got the start for the Phillies.
In the bottom of the first inning, Brandon Moss crushed a ball that went 462 feet into the right field stands, giving the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. It was the fourth longest home run hit in Busch Stadium III, and was the longest hit by a left-handed batter.
“I feel like I hit it really well,” Moss said. “I’m still searching for consistency, but I’ll take that one. Any homer is a good homer.”
For the majority of the game, it was all the offense that the veteran Garcia needed.
The biggest threat he faced was in the fifth inning, when back-to-back singles brought up former Cardinal Peter Bourjos, but he ended up hitting into a double play, as Garcia got out of the jam. His final line for the afternoon stood at: 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 82 pitches (61 strikes).
In the seventh inning, the Cardinals were able to plate three runs across to give them a 4-0 lead, the big hit coming off the bat from right fielder Stephen Piscotty, who hit a ground-rule double to left field with two outs and a full count.
Trevor Rosenthal, who has not pitched much as of late, entered to pitch the ninth in a non-save situation, and thanks to a diving play by Piscotty, was able to secure the win for the Cardinals, putting them at 15-14 on the season.
Tomorrow night, Carlos Martinez will get the start on the mound for St. Louis, as they begin a key three-game series against the Pirates.