Michael Wacha had a rare poor outing.
And the Cardinals hitters finally cooled off.
Wacha gave up five runs and eight hits in five innings, suffering just his second road defeat of the season and St. Louis fell 9-2 to the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday.
“They made me pay for my mistakes,” Wacha said. “I just didn’t have it today.”
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Wacha (9-3) entered tied for the major league lead with six road wins, going 6-1 with 2.08 ERA in eight road starts.
“He’s been real good for us,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. “It was just one of those days.”
The St. Louis right-hander was outdueled by an unlikely candidate, as Adam Morgan earned the victory in his major-league debut. He snapped a club-record 25-game stretch without a win for a Phillies starter dating to May 23, a string that stretched from Memorial Day to Father’s Day.
Winless in the minors this year, Morgan (1-0) allowed one run and six hits in 5 2-3 innings, striking out six and walking two against the team with the best record in the majors.
The 25-year-old lefty had been 0-6 in 13 starts at Triple-A this season, and was 13-28 lifetime in the minors. He was called up before the game to pitch in place of Jerome Williams, who’s out with a strained left hamstring.
“I’m just very, very happy for the opportunity. Very grateful,” Morgan said. “I didn’t want to try to do too much or overthink. The main thing was keeping the ball down.”
Jason Heyward and Jhonny Peralta homered for the Cardinals, who lost for the first time in their past six games against Philadelphia.
St. Louis outscored Philadelphia 22-5 while amassing 32 hits in winning the first two games of the series on Friday and Saturday.
“We missed a couple of opportunities early,” Matheny said. “It’s tough to keep scoring after a couple of big-run games. It’s going to slow down a little.”
The Phillies scored three times in the second on Cody Asche’s RBI double and Cesar Hernandez’s two-run single.
After Peralta upped his team-leading homer total to 11 with a solo shot leading off the fourth, the Phillies scored twice in the fifth on an RBI double by Maikel Franco and a single by Ryan Howard.
“My fastball command wasn’t where I wanted it to be,” Wacha said. “I wasn’t able to locate or get ahead of them. When I did, I couldn’t make my pitch. I kept trying to stay down in the zone, but they were pretty aggressive.
“I just have to work on some things so it doesn’t happen again.”
Morgan got the first two batters in the sixth before a single by Heyward and walk to Jon Jay. The crowd of 30,423 booed Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg when he pulled Morgan with a 5-1 lead, and reliever Luis Garcia retired Tony Cruz on a grounder to end the inning.
“Morgan really stepped up with the opportunity,” Sandberg said. “He showed a lot of composure out there and was terrific. He controlled the baseball, had good fastball command on both sides of the plate. He had a real good look as if he was under control right from the get-go.
“He was impressive and fun to watch.”
Sandberg said Morgan earned another start.
Andres Blanco homered and Ben Revere and Franco each got three hits for the Phillies in their highest-scoring game of the season. The Phillies won for just the second time in 13 games.
Heyward homered off Jonathan Papelbon leading off the ninth. Heyward is batting .550 (11 for 20) in his past five games.
“I don’t know what else we could ask for the way he’s hitting the ball,” Matheny said.
Blanco went deep for the second time as a pinch-hitter this season and leads the majors with seven pinch-hit extra-base hits.
Phillies: LHP Cole Hamels threw a bullpen session without a problem. He remains on schedule to start Wednesday’s game against the Yankees. The Philadelphia ace missed his last start on Friday due to a strained hamstring.
Cardinals: St. Louis is off on Monday and will resume play at Miami on Tuesday night when Cardinals RHP Carlos Martinez (7-3, 2.80) opposes Jose Urena (1-3, 4.18). Phillies: RHP Kevin Correia (0-1, 1.69) start Monday night at Yankee Stadium against Michael Pineda (8-3, 3.54). Correia, who will be making his third start for the Phillies, is winless with a 1.35 ERA in two career outings against the Yankees.