Cardinals lose 5-3 to Phillies in 10 innings
By R.B. FALLSTROM
ST. LOUIS (AP) Slow-footed catcher Yadier Molina is one of the St. Louis Cardinals' smartest baserunners, going 4 for 4 in steals when he catches pitchers napping.
Molina ran into a pair of big outs in a 5-3, 10-inning loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night, although rookie manager Mike Matheny had no complaints.
"You know, he's one of the best instinctual runners we have," Matheny said. "More often than not, he's making aggressive decisions that turn out all right."
Molina, who singled twice for his 15th multihit game of the season, doesn't plan on changing.
"It didn't work out, what can I say?" Molina said. "We're going to be aggressive and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't."
Molina was thrown out at third for the first out in the fourth inning, trying for an extra base after right fielder Hunter Pence lost Matt Adams' routine flyball for a gift single.
Then, Molina was out at the plate trying to score from first on Adams' two-out double in the eighth, crashing into catcher Carlos Ruiz but failing to dislodge the ball.
"I remember last year I tried to slide and he almost broke my leg trying to block the plate," Molina said. "I don't think it was dirty, I think it was a good play.
"I'm just trying to score," he said.
The Phillies won their third in a row after surviving a fourth inning in which Pence, the right fielder, and Shane Victorino, the center fielder, lost balls in the lights. The winning runs came too late for Cliff Lee, a 17-game winner last season still seeking his first win of 2012.
Juan Pierre singled to start the 10th against Motte, working his second inning. Pence had been hitless in nine at-bats before lining the St. Louis closer's first pitch over the right field wall for his team-leading 11th homer. He's 3 for 10 against Motte (3-2) with two homers and three RBIs.
Raul Valdes (2-0), who hadn't won a game since Sept. 15, 2010, before getting the decision in Thursday's 10-9 victory, struck out Tyler Greene and Matt Holliday with two on in the ninth inning to win for the second straight game. Jonathan Papelbon finished for his National League-leading 14th save in 14 chances.
The Cardinals missed chances at the go-ahead hit in the seventh, eighth and ninth. Holliday had two of them, flying out to the left field wall with a man on to end the seventh and striking out with two on to end the ninth, breaking his bat in frustration after slamming it off the plate.
"You play a long season, you play a lot of games, you're going to have frustrating nights," Holliday said. "And this was one of them."
Second baseman Freddy Galvis had a strong relay to the plate and Carlos Ruiz hung on after Molina crashed into him.
Lee's, who's 0-2 despite a 2.82 ERA, left after striking out seven in seven innings in a game tied at 3. Lee won 17 games last year, finishing third in the Cy Young balloting.
Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse had no walks or strikeouts for the second time in two seasons against the Phillies and against Lee, giving up three earned runs in 6 1-3 innings. He walked none in eight innings in a 4-0 loss at home to Philadelphia last June 22.
"I went in knowing I was going to have to be crafty," Lohse said. "I wasn't going to try to throw the ball hard, I was just picking my spots moving it in and out.
"It was good enough to get deep and keep us in it," Lohse added.
Lee, who got called third strikes on five of his strikeouts, barely survived the seventh, convincing manager Charlie Manuel to leave him in before Holliday's flyout to the wall.
Lee singled for his second hit to start the seventh, and got a good jump on Pierre's double off Mitchell Boggs with one out, scoring easily to tie it.
The Cardinals opened the fourth with four straight hits, two of them apparently lost in the lights. They scored only once, running into an out when Molina was caught trying for third after Adams' popup dropped between equally bewildered Pence and Victorino for a gift hit.
David Freese started the inning with his third career triple, a drive off the top of the center field wall that Victorino couldn't track, waving his arms while drifting back in the track. Molina's single made it 3-2, but Victorino salvaged some wounded pride when he retrieved the ball after Adams' single and threw out Molina at third.
Jimmy Rollins had an RBI single and another run scored on first baseman Adams' fielding error as the Phillies took a 2-0 lead in the second. Adams and Shane Robinson had consecutive doubles in the bottom of the second and Furcal hit his third homer leading off the third to tie it.
Furcal is 3 for 7 against Lee with two homers.
Lee has allowed three or fewer runs in all five of his career starts against St. Louis, two of them shutouts.
NOTES: The Phillies and Cardinals combined for 33 hits on Thursday, with each team getting 15 or more in a nine-inning game for the first time since May 12, 1935, at League Park in Philadelphia in St. Louis' 10-8 victory. Pepper Martin and Leo Durocher each had three hits for the Cardinals, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. ... Carlos Beltran was not in the original Cardinals lineup, written before he arrived, but talked his way in. Then he went 0 for 5 with two strikeouts. ... The Cardinals have not won on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday this month, going 0-10, but are 8-0 on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Updated May 26, 2012