Lynn goes 7 strong to help Cardinals beat Phillies
Saturday, April 20, 2013
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Lance Lynn pitched like the All-Star that St. Louis expected to be.
Lynn threw one-hit ball for seven innings and Carlos Beltran homered for the third straight game to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday night.
Lynn (3-0) did not allow a hit until John Mayberry Jr., led off the fifth with a double. Lynn struck out eight and walked three in his longest outing of the season. He lasted only four innings in his last start and took the mound this time with some extra attitude.
“That’s who I am,” he said. “That’s who I’m going to be. ... There’s time for it and there’s time where you have to stay within yourself. But I’m a better pitcher when I’m pitching with a little bit of a chip on my shoulder.”
Trevor Rosenthal and Mitchell Boggs each tossed a scoreless inning to combine for St. Louis’ fourth shutout of the season.
Beltran’s solo shot off Cliff Lee (2-1) in the fifth inning gave him homers in the first three games of the four-game series. Allen Craig had a two-run single in a four-run third for the Cards.
Lee easily had his worst start of the year. After walking one batter this season, he walked the bases loaded in the third that led to St. Louis’ big inning.
“He couldn’t get a good feel on his fastball,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “Sometimes when it’s cold, the ball feels slick.”
Lee had none of his usual control in a game where the temperatures dipped into the 40s and the wind whipped all night. He walked the bases loaded, then Craig made it 2-0 with a two-out, two-run single up the middle. Lee gave up an odd run on the next batter when Yadier Molina singled through the hole to right after Chase Utley made a break for second base. David Freese chopped an RBI single to right to make it 4-0.
Lee did not walk a batter in his first two starts (16 2-3 innings) and walked only one over seven innings in his last outing. He had pitched at least six innings and issued one or no walks in each of his 20 last starts, a record for any pitcher since 1900. When he walked Cincinnati’s Jay Bruce on a full count in his last start, it snapped a streak of 169 consecutive plate appearances without issuing one.
“I’m not going to make excuses,” Lee said. “I’ve got to do a better job getting ahead and finishing the hitters.”
Maybe it’s all that red that throws off Lee. He walked six Cardinals in a 2011 start and two other times had three-plus walk starts vs. St. Louis.
Whatever the reason, Lee again lost his control and the Cardinals took advantage.
Lee, who struck out five in five innings, wouldn’t walk another batter but the Cardinals weren’t finished.
Beltran led off the fifth with a shot to left-center for his fourth homer of the season. It was Beltran’s 30th career homer vs. the Phillies and his sixth homer in his last 13 games at Citizens Bank Park.
“I don’t think about homers, I think about trying to get on base,” Beltran said. “But if you get a good approach and connect with the ball good, sometimes that happens.”
He’s not the only Cardinal with big success against Philadelphia. Molina is batting .481 (37 for 77) with three homers and 14 RBIs in his 22 games against the Phillies, dating back to 2010.
Lynn, an NL All-Star last season, threw only seven pitches in the fourth and that included a strikeout of Michael Young. Lynn seemed to tire as the game wore on, with his mid-90s fastball dipping to the high-80s before he was pulled after 107 pitches.
He had never allowed less than two hits in a start.
“He had a great mound presence, even when things didn’t go as well,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.
NOTES: Phillies 1B Ryan Howard sat out his second straight game with a sore groin. Manuel said Howard still felt stiffness and soreness. Howard has only one homer and five RBIs. “We need to get Ryan going,” Manuel said. “We need Ryan’s power in the lineup. He’s our big RBI guy. ... St. Louis sends Jake Westbrook (1-1, 0.00) to the mound against Philadelphia’s Kyle Kendrick (1-1, 3.38) Sunday night in the finale. ... Young extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single in the ninth. He struck out his first three at bats.
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