St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) – Ryan Howard hit a long grand slam in his return to St. Louis, tying Mike Schmidt for the team record in the process, as Philadelphia downed St. Louis, 6-1, at Busch Stadium.
Howard loves hitting in his hometown, evidenced by his .383 batting average and seven career home runs in St. Louis. His fifth-inning grand slam tied Schmidt for the most in team history with seven. Howard already has two this year, and the team has clubbed four.
Joe Blanton (1-2) pitched perhaps the best game by a Phillies starter this season, giving up one run on four hits with two walks and three strikeouts over six frames. Jayson Werth finished 2-for-4 with a two-run homer for the Phillies, who have won two in a row and seven of their last nine games.
runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and two walks over 4 1/3 innings. Joe Thurston, another former Phillie, finished 3-for-5, while Blanton and Phillies relievers held Albert Pujols to a rare 0-for-3.
Rick Ankiel suffered a neck, head and back injury during a scary play in the top of the eighth frame. He hauled in a long drive to left-center by Pedro Feliz, took two steps toward the wall then fell face-first into the padding. He was down for several minutes before getting fit with a precautionary neck brace and placed on a cart.
“Real hard. His head shows it. He has a big dent in it,” said Cardinals manager Tony La Russa about Ankiel’s collision with the wall. He importantly mentioned that Ankiel was neurologically cleared in an examination after he was carted off.
St. Louis struck first in the third as Thurston sliced an opposite-field double tight to the left-field line, scoring Lohse.
Werth’s opposite-field shot into the stands in right-center following Howard’s single gave the Phillies a 2-1 edge, but the big blow came an inning later.
With one out, Jimmy Rollins singled to center, Shane Victorino followed with a base hit, Utley was hit by a pitch and Howard deposited a hanging slider into the seats in right to cap the scoring.
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