ST. LOUIS (AP) — Kyle Schwarber hit his 44th homer, sparking the Philadelphia Phillies to a 6–1 victory Saturday night over the St. Louis Cardinals.
“There's always a chance when you go up to the plate,” Schwarber said. “I don't worry about numbers. I've just got to keep going up there and taking quality at-bats.”
Schwarber’s three-run homer came on a 2-2 pitch in the fifth inning, extending the Phillies’ lead to 5-1. The homer snapped an 0-for-16 slump for Schwarber, who sports a .197 season average. He hiked his RBIs total to 97.
“That was a big home run,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. ”For whatever reason, he typically doesn't hit well against the Cardinals."
Schwarber drilled a 114.1 mph line drive that cleared the wall in right field, making it the hardest-hit home run at Busch Stadium this season and his second-hardest-hit homer of the year.
It was his fifth homer at Busch Stadium. He has 22 hits in 136 at-bats in 37 career games in St. Louis.
“No, I don't like hitting here,” Schwarber said, laughing. “Just take a look at my numbers. I always joke about it. It is what it is.”
Philadelphia leads the NL wild-card race by 3 1/2 games over the Chicago Cubs, who hold the second of three spots.
Venezuelan left-hander Ranger Suárez (3-6) picked up the win with six innings of work in his third start since coming of the injured list. He gave up one run on four hits and four walks with five strikeouts in his first career start against St. Louis.
“Overall, I felt good,” Suárez said through a translator. “I ran into trouble in a couple of innings but I was able to get out of it.”
Miles Mikolas (7-12) pitched six innings and took the loss. He allowed eight hits and five runs. In his last eight starts, Mikolas is 1-5.
“They put some good swings on good pitches,” Mikolas said about the Phillies. “You've got to tip your cap.”
Alec Bohm singled home Trea Turner in the first inning. It was Bohm's 90th RBI of the season, making him the first primary third baseman to reach the mark for Philadelphia since Scott Rolen had 107 in 2001. The Phillies pushed their lead to 2-0 on a sacrifice fly by Brandon Marsh in the second.
A run-scoring double by Paul Goldschmidt in the third cut Philadelphia's lead to 2-1. Suárez loaded the bases but struck out Luken Baker to escape more damage. The Cardinals left the bases loaded in the eighth and ninth innings in Friday’s game.
The Phillies' final run came in the ninth on an RBI double by Johan Rojas.
The Cardinals stranded 13 runners. St. Louis left 15 on base in Friday's loss.
“We had opportunities just like last night,” manager Oliver Marmol said. “We had runners in scoring position. We just didn't come through.”
WALKER REACHES 100 HITS
Rookie Jordan Walker singled in the fourth inning, giving him 100 hits at age 21 years and 117 days. Walker became the fourth-youngest Cardinal to reach 100 career hits behind Rogers Hornsby (20.078), Frank Snyder (20.346) and Garry Templeton (21.057).
ASSISTANT COACH RESIGNS
The Cardinals announced assistant hitting coach Daniel Nicolaisen has resigned from his position. He has accepted a position as an assistant softball coach for Mississippi. This season was Nicolaisen’s first coaching in the majors after he spent three years coaching within the Cardinals’ minor league system.
Cardinals: OF Dylan Carlson (left ankle) will have season-ending surgery on his ankle to remove bone spurs Tuesday in Charlotte, North Carolina. After 8 to 12 weeks of recovery and rehab, he is expected to be ready for the start of spring training. … LHP JoJo Romero (sore knee tendon) is set to throw a bullpen session Sunday after throwing on Friday. If he recovers well, he could join the team on their final road trip this season.
Phillies: RHP Taijuan Walker (15-5, 4.30) took a no-decision against Atlanta on Monday. He went 5 1/3 innings, gave up six hits and five earned runs. In his last seven starts, Walker is 4-1 with a 5.22 ERA
Cardinals: RHP Dakota Hudson (6-2, 3.32) suffered an 11-5 loss at Baltimore on Monday as he failed to pitch five full innings in a start for the first time this season.
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