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After a moderately successful road trip through Milwaukee and Chicago, the Phils came back home to face the St. Louis Cardinals, another NL Central opponent.
On his return after being demoted to the minor leagues, Phillies starting pitcher Nick Pivetta looked a little rusty out of the gate allowing Paul Goldschmidt and Marcell Ozuna homers in the first inning. However, he finished his tough five inning day with six strikeouts, three hits, and three runs.
Trailing 3-0 in the bottom of the third with two runners on base, the million(s) dollar man Bryce Harper jacked a double near the right field line to score two. Then, in the bottom of the fourth, the unsung hero Cesar Hernandez crushed a two run homer into the right field stands to give the Phillies a 4-3 lead against a strikeout machine(who had double digit K’s on the night) in Cards pitcher Adam Wainwright.
Uncharacteristically, the Phillies bullpen stepped up as middle reliever Edgar Garcia forced 5 outs followed by Seranthony Dominguez throwing absolute smoke to retire four consecutive batters. To finish it off, Hector Neris, the only really promising closer, came in to earn his tenth save in ten tries to hold onto a 4-3 victory at Citizen’s Bank Park. Even with the troubling news of the domestic violence case against Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera, the Phils seemed unfazed as they came out victorious for the 32nd time this year, still leading the NL East.
The Phillies face the Cardinals tonight at 7:05 as they try to clinch the three game series win.