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Thursday blues: Cardinals 5, Phillies 3

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The Phillies had their chances, but failed to sweep the Cardinals

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Philadelphia Phillies
Jerad Eickhoff was hurt by the home run on Thursday
James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

With a series against the National League-best Dodgers looming, it would have been nice if the Phillies could have headed to Los Angeles coming off a sweep. Unfortunately, Jerad Eickhoff couldn’t keep the Cardinals hitters in the park, and the Phillies didn’t come up with enough hits with runners in scoring position. The result was a 5-3 loss that allowed the Cards to salvage the final game in the series.

Eickhoff had trouble with the long ball on Thursday afternoon. The Cardinals got off to an early lead when Eickhoff gave up solo homers to both Marcell Ozuna and Matt Wieters in the second inning. After settling in for a few innings, the home run bit Eickhoff again in the seventh, when he surrendered a two-run shot to Jedd Gyorko. Edgar Garcia entered in relief and gave up a home run of his own to Matt Carpenter to extend the Cardinals’ lead to 5-1.

The Phillies had plenty of chances to match, but they couldn’t seem to get the big hit they needed. They were just 2-9 with runners in scoring position, and the largest missed opportunity came in the eighth.

After back-to-back RBI singles by Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins cut the Phillies’ deficit to two runs, the Phillies had two runners aboard with nobody out. However, Cardinals’ reliever John Gant retired Cesar Hernandez, Scott Kingery, and J.T. Realmuto to snuff out the Phillies’ best chance.

The game ended on a somewhat strange note. Andrew McCutchen sent a ball into foul territory in right field. Dexter Fowler went into the stands to make an amazing catch. However, replays showed that the ball clearly hit a fan before Fowler caught it.

The Phillies could have reviewed the play (what did they have to lose?) but chose to just let it stand and walk off the field in defeat.

The Phillies will now head West to face the Dodgers. Going against their high-powered offense, if the Phillies can’t do a better job with runners in scoring position than they did on Thursday, it could stand to be a long series.