EditorsNote: Slight cosmetic changes
Rookie Tyler O’Neill hit his second major league home run on Sunday, one day after his first, and fellow rookie Jack Flaherty struck out 13 over 7 2/3 innings for his first major league victory as the host St. Louis Cardinals knocked off the Philadelphia Phillies 5-1 to split a four-game series at Busch Stadium.
O’Neill, starting in left field as the Cardinals gave a day off to struggling Marcell Ozuna, led off the bottom of the sixth inning with a home run to center field off Phillies starter Aaron Nola, who had given up only three home runs in 58 2/3 innings before Sunday.
It was only the Phillies’ third loss in their last 11 games.
Flaherty (1-1), who recently returned to the rotation with the injury to Adam Wainwright, gave up just two hits, one of them Rhys Hoskins’ sixth home run of the season. He walked just one while throwing 120 pitches.
Flaherty, whose longest start this season had been 5 2/3 innings, bested Nola (6-2), who had won five straight starts. Nola gave up two runs in the fourth inning and two more in the sixth. In six innings, he allowed seven hits and a walk while striking out six.
Trailing 1-0 after Hoskins got a fastball that tailed out over the plate and homered to left-center in the fourth inning, the Cardinals took the lead with two runs in the bottom of the inning.
O’Neill, who had three hits on the day, led off with a single, and Dexter Fowler followed with a walk.
Kolten Wong hit a ground ball to second baseman Cesar Hernandez, and Fowler stopped in the baseline to avoid the tag. Hernandez threw to first to get Wong, but first baseman Carlos Santana’s throw to second to try to get Fowler bounced near the base and trickled toward shortstop, allowing O’Neill to score and Fowler to go to third.
Greg Garcia then took advantage of a drawn-in infield to single up the middle and drive in Fowler.
O’Neill homered to lead off the Cardinals’ sixth, and Garcia hit a sacrifice fly to score Fowler later in the inning.
St. Louis added a run on a two-out rally in the seventh against reliever Victor Arano when Jose Martinez singled in Matt Carpenter, who had doubled for his third hit of the day and second double.
Carpenter, who was hitting .140 on May 15, has raised his average to .194 with the three hits Sunday.
Philadelphia’s Odubel Herrera had his streak of reaching base successfully in 45 straight games end.
Herrera had a last chance to extend the streak in the ninth inning against Cardinals reliever Jordan Hicks. In a plate appearance that featured five pitches between 103 and 105 mph, Herrera struck out when he couldn’t check his swing. Though he made it to first base when the ball bounced away from catcher Francisco Pena, the streak was over due to baseball statistical rules.
—Field Level Media