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Game 45: Phillies 10, Cardinals 9

The Cardinals hitters on Thursday was almost as impressive as the club's pitchers were lousy.

Unfortunately, the batsmen's effort to erase a 6-0 lead handed to Philadelphia by starter Jake Westbrook was put to waste by the bullpen which found a way to let the Phillies off the hook every time the offense ran them down. The Phillies were able to hang on for a 10-9 win.

Westbrook was absolutely awful with six earned runs allowed on eight hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings. He was so bad that Phillies starter Joe Blanton was able to get away with allowing seven runs on 10 hits and escape with a no decision.

The Birds cut into the six-run Phillies lead with a four-run third inning in which all the tallies were plated with two outs. Philadelphia scored a run off Brandon Dickson in the top of the fifth to make the score 7-4. But the Cardinals answered with three of their own -- Matt Holliday homered for one then Carlos Beltran doubled and was erased on a fielder's choice off the bat of David Freese. Yadier Molina hit a two-out, two-run homer to even the score at seven.

In came Fernando Salas for the sixth who allowed the Phillies two runs on four hits in one horrific inning of relief.

The Birds scored a run in the bottom of the seventh and another in the bottom of the eighth. Then they got a one-out single from Molina in the ninth. But they couldn't push home another run and fell to second place for the first time this season.

Cardinals Star of the Game: Yadier Molina was 4-for-5 with a homer, a run scored and three batted in to earn the nod over Matt Holliday, who homered and made a couple of nice catches and Carlos Beltran who had three hits in five at-bats.

Cardinals Play of the Game: Molina's homer.

Lowlight: Apparently Jake Westbrook has run out of smoke and mirrors. He's back to nibbling like he did last season, getting behind in counts and then getting hammered when he comes over the plate.