The Redbird Report 06/25

Kip Wells, surely having to know his starting job was on the line Sunday, met the challenge -- at least as long he was allowed to stay in the game.

Wells, 5-0 against the Philadelphia Phillies in his career, gave up just two hits and no runs over four innings before a rain delay of one hour and 36 minutes ensued.

Manager Tony La Russa brought Wells back to pitch just one more inning, La Russa said, which would enable Wells (3-11) to qualify for the victory. But the Phillies scored a run in the fifth and then Wells was lifted to watch the rest of the game from the clubhouse. The Phillies scored three runs against two Cardinals relievers in the eighth en route to victory, but Wells almost certainly will get another start Friday in Cincinnati.

La Russa called Wells' outing "encouraging. He threw the ball well."

Wells also had two hits, but the Cardinals didn't score in their last six at-bats after the rain delay when the Phillies had relieved ace Cole Hamels.

"That's hard to take," said La Russa. "Very irritating."

Also probably hard to take has been the general performance of left-hander Randy Flores for the last couple of months. Flores allowed a bases-loaded double to pinch-hitter Shane Victorino in the eighth and now has permitted 12 of 19 inherited runners to score this season.

PHILLIES 5, CARDINALS 1: The Cardinals missed a rare chance lately to gain ground on the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers when they failed to score in the last six innings, getting only four hits, after the Phillies had to take starter Cole Hamels out of the game following a long rain delay. The Cardinals had only two hits with men in scoring position Sunday and neither scored a run. They also missed a chance to record their third straight series win. The No, 9 spot in the batting order got on base four times via hits by pitcher Kip Wells and two walks to left fielder Chris Duncan, but the other eight positions got on base only eight times.

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