Cardinals Major League Notebook: 09/18/11

The Cardinals dropped to four games back in the wild card race after a Saturday night loss in Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Phillies won another National League Eastern Division crown, their fifth straight, with a 9-2 win over St. Louis on Saturday night. The winners had much to celebrate while the losers have to be concerned as they fell to four games behind Atlanta in the NL wild card race.

A pitcher the Cardinals know well from his days in Houston, Roy Oswalt, threw seven shutout innings and was supported by a Raul Ibanez grand slam off reliever Octavio Dotel.

Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook (12-9) allowed one earned run and five hits, but pitched just 3 1/3 innings as manager Tony La Russa deployed seven pitchers on the night.

The Cards threatened in the eighth, down 3-0. Consecutive singles by John Jay, Albert Pujols, Lance Berkman and David Freese got the Cardinals within 3-2. But another former Astro, Brad Lidge retired Allen Craig on a ground ball to second base on his first pitch to escape the jam.

The tables turned quickly, as a Daniel Descalso error, a pair of singles and a hit-by-pitch opened the eighth. Dotel entered, relieving Marc Rzepczynski, and after an infield single to short drove in the second run of the frame, Ibanez' grand slam to right ended any doubt.


Related article: Can the Cardinals break "The Curse of Octavio Dotel"?


Sunday, September 18 @ PHILLIES: RHP Chris Carpenter (9-9, 3.80) vs. LHP Cole Hamels (14-8, 2.71) 7:09 P.M. CDT (ESPN, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio Network).

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