Mujica dodges trouble, collects first save

2013-04-18T16:10:00Z 2013-04-19T07:04:04Z Mujica dodges trouble, collects first saveBy Derrick Goold 314-340-8285

PHILADELPHIA• With a leaping catch one inning and a deep drive the next, outfielder Carlos Beltran put the Cardinals ahead in the game and gave the restructured bullpen its first chance to keep them there.

Beltran’s jump to rob Jimmy Rollins of extra-bases in the seventh inning kept the game tied and his home run in the eighth send the Cardinals toward their 4-3 victory against Philadelphia on Thursday night at Citizens Bank Park. The rest was up to the relievers.

Specifically, new ninth-inning man Edward Mujica.

Emerging from what manager Mike Matheny has described as a closer by committee approach at the end of the game, the veteran Mujica pitched the final four outs of the win. He entered in the eighth inning to rescue rookie Trevor Rosenthal from damage with the tying and go-ahead run on base. Mujica struck out the first batter he faced and pitched around two hits in the ninth inning to collect his fifth career save. The tying run reached third and the would-be winning run reached second base before Mujica had an out in the ninth inning but he retired three consecutive batters with neither runner budging.

Mujica’s four-out save and Beltran’s homer made a winner of ace Adam Wainwright. Beltran’s catch made sure Wainwright didn’t take the loss. In the seventh inning, the Phillies tied the game, 3-3, on Erik Kratz’s single through a drawn-in infield. The Phillies had Dominic Brown at first base as the go-ahead run when Rollins tagged a pitch from Wainwright that had the speed to reach the wall but not the elevation to get past Beltran’s glove.

Wainwright (3-1) allowed three runs in his seven innings as his scoreless streak ended at 18 1/3 innings.


Kozma's fly ball, Manuel's decision gives Cards edge

Pete Kozma delivered a sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh inning that scored David Freese and returned the Cardinals to the lead with a 3-2 edge against the host Phillies tonight.

That Kozma got to bat at all is a bit of a surprise.

Freese opened the inning with a double and took third on Jon Jay's sacrifice bunt. That left the Phillies with two bases open and one out on the scoreboard.

More importantly, it gave them a chance to see what manager Mike Matheny would do with his No. 9 spot in the order. Ty Wigginton was on the on-deck circle as an apparent pinch hitter for Adam Wainwright. If the Phillies had put Kozma on base and forced Wigginton to hit, the Phillies would have pushed the game into the Cardinals' bullpen, created a force out at two bases, created a potential double play, and, yes, pushed the game into the Cardinals' bullpen.

The repeat is for effect here.

The Phillies appeared to have a chance to knock Wainwright from the game if the Cardinals wanted to get the pinch-hitter Wigginton up.

Instead, Cole Hamels pitched to Kozma. Kozma elevated a pitch to right field. Freese scored. Wainwright batted. The Cardinals had their ace on the mound and a 3-2 lead for him, not a reliever, to protect.


Phillies strike to tie the game in the sixth

The Phillies ended Adam Wainwright's scoreless streak at 18 1/3 innings with a couple doubles that also knotted the game.

Jimmy Rollins and Freddy Galvis connected for back-to-back doubles that put the Phillies sixth-inning rally in motion. Rollins scored on Galvis' shot to the deep point of center field that got over a racing Jon Jay's glove. Galvis scored when Chase Utley poked a single up the middle.

Wainwright's scoreless streak extended over three starts and it included his 12-strikeout shutout of the Brewers last weekend at Busch Stadium.

Headed into the top of the seventh, the game is tied, 2-2.


Wainwright pushes scoreless streak to 18 innings

Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright bent a two-strike curveball past Erik Katz to end the fifth inning keep not only his personal scoreless streak going but also a necessary one for the Cardinals to stay ahead in the game.

Wainwright has pitched 18 consecutive scoreless innings going into the sixth inning here at Citizens Bank Park.

The Cardinals lead 2-0 on the Phillies and lefty Cole Hamels.

They need a little nudge from the umpire to get the lead.

In the fourth inning, Matt Holliday opened the inning with a walk. He took third when Allen Craig lofted a fly ball to right-center field that appeared to be a potential out. But Phillies right fielder John Mayberry Jr. played the ball awkwardly and fell as he tried to jab step toward the ball. Craig's shot landed for a double that put runners at third and second with no outs.

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina followed with a little fortune in right field, too.

Molina's line drive down the right-field line was ruled fair by first-base umpire Alan Porter. Hyper-enhanced and slowed-down replays showed the ball was foul -- and barely so. It was about as foul as Carlos Beltran's would-be double down the left-field line was fair last year against Johan Santana and the New York Mets in the no-hitter at Citi Field. The ruling allowed the Cardinals to score two runs against Hamels and the Phillies.


Cardinals have the road blues ready

For the first time this season, the Cardinals returned to wearing the dark blue caps for a road game. The team has yet to commit to a standard use for the hats they’ve worn on the road for most of the past two decades. The initial plan this season was to return to the Cardinals-red hats on the road, but a fan poll taken in the final week of spring training showed strong support for keeping the blue hats in the rotation, if not using them entirely on the road.

The Cardinals will wear the blue hats for all four games of the series in Philadelphia, an official confirmed. The current plan is to go back to the red hats for the visit to Washington at the end of this road trip. The Cardinals have considered wearing blue hats on the road when facing red-hatted teams like the Phillies and Nationals.


Carpenter moved to leadoff

Customary leadoff hitter Jon Jay has 5 hits in his past 15 at-bats, and Matt Carpenter is in a 2-for-19 rut.

But manager Mike Matheny chose Carpenter — like Jay a lefthanded batter — to bat first tonight against Phillies lefty Cole Hamels.

After an 0-for-4 game Wednesday that included three strikeouts, Jay dropped to the No. 7 spot in the Cardinals' order.

First baseman Allen Craig and shortstop Pete Kozma, each of whom was rested in the 5-0 loss to A.J. Burnett and the Pirates, are back in the lineup for the 6:05 game (FSM). 

Cardinals lineup:

1. Carpenter, 2B

2. Beltran, RF

3. Holliday, LF

4. Craig, 1B

5. Molina, C

6. Freese, 3B

7. Jay, CF

8. Kozma, SS

9. Wainwright, P

Phillies lineup:

1. Rollins, SS

2. Galvis, LF

3. Utley, 2B

4. Howard, 1B

5. Young, 3B

6. Mayberry, RF

7. Revere, CF

8. Kratz, C

9. Hamels, P

Derrick Goold covers the Cardinals and Major League Baseball for The Post-Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter at @dgoold or on Facebook at

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Baseball writers Derrick Goold and Rick Hummel cover the Cardinals for the Post-Dispatch and They'll provide daily Cardinals updates here, from the start of spring training through the end of the season and beyond.