Cardinals rally past Phillies 5-3

News-DemocratJune 22, 2014 

— What already was a good homestand turned into a very good homestand Sunday for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Veteran Mark Ellis had two RBIs and Carlos Martinez earned his first victory of the season as the Cardinals defeated Philadelphia 5-3 to earn a split in the four-game series.

The Cardinals, who overcame a 3-0 deficit, completed a 7-3 homestand and climbed six games over .500 at 41-35.

"Seven and three is good," Ellis said. "You've got to win games at home. Every team I've been on, we've always done really well at home and well enough on the road. So especially with this big road trip coming up, it's nice to have a good homestand."

First baseman Matt Adams agreed.

"We played well," said Adams, who was one of five Cardinals to register two hits. "Our pitchers did well, our offense scored runs and we played good defense. Everything clicked this homestand. Hopefully, we carry it over to the road."

Next up is a 10-game trip to Colorado, Los Angeles and San Francisco, a tall order made more daunting by the news after the game Sunday that pitchers Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia will be on the disabled list for at least two weeks, likely longer.

But the Cardinals have overcome injuries in the past, and are determined to do it again with a group they still believe is talented enough to make a run at the NL Central title.

Ellis, playing because of an injury that landed Kolten Wong on the DL on Saturday, contributed a safety squeeze in a four-run fourth and an RBI single in the sixth, both against Kyle Kendrick (3-7).

"I'm ready to play," said Ellis, 37, who signed a one-year free-agent contract in December. "I knew what I was getting into, and if you need me to play every day, I'll play every day. If you need me to come off the bench, I'll come off the bench.

"I want to be on a winning team, and this is what we are here. Whatever they need me for. I've played every day a lot my whole career. It's nothing new for me."

Jhonny Peralta added a two-run single and Jon Jay had an RBI single in the fourth when the Cardinals took the lead for good.

Trevor Rosenthal pitched the ninth for his 22nd save, following Nick Greenwood, Sam Freeman and Pat Neshek. The trio combined for three scoreless innings and struck out five.

"Greenwood came in and threw a great game, and Sam Freeman once again did a great job setting it up for Neshek and Rosey," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "Those guys are doing a great job of getting us through those games when we may not be able to go real deep into the game with our starter."

The Phillies struck first with three runs in the second against Martinez (1-3), making his second consecutive start. The key blow was a three-run double to left-center by St. Louisan Cody Asche.

Martinez, still building up his arm after pitching out of the bullpen this season, departed after five innings and 74 pitches. He allowed three hits, walked one and struck out five.

"He had the one rough inning, got into the stretch again and had a little bit of trouble getting his timing," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "He did a nice job of recovering. I thought he picked up his rhythm a little bit more in the (third) inning. He made some real good adjustments. Overall, a real good start."

Greenwood worked a scoreless sixth, Freeman relieved in the seventh and worked 1 2/3 scoreless innings, and Neshek struck out his only hitter in the eighth to get the ball to Rosenthal.

Rosenthal surrendered a one-out single to Asche in the ninth, but struck out pinch-hitter Carlos Ruiz and retired pinch-hitter Marlon Byrd on a lineout to second.

Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday batted second in a game he has started for the first time since June 25, 2010. Holliday, who batted second in a reserve capacity July 18, 2012, batted third in his first 73 games of the season.

Holliday was 0-for-4.

"It doesn't matter where I hit," Holliday said.

Contact reporter David Wilhelm at dwilhelm@bnd.com or 239-2665. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidMWilhelm.

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