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Cardinals Pound Lee, Edge Phillies to Even Playoffs

       
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The Phillies got to St. Louis Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter early; for 3 first inning runs and a run in the second.    With All-Star lefthander Cliff Lee pitching, bank on the win. Right? Not!    Staked to a 4-0 lead, Lee was socked with 3 fourth inning runs on 4 hits and a walk, followed by single runs in the sixth and seventh inning as the Phils offense went into a complete shell.   Carpenter lasted three innings, but after the second inning, he and 6 Cards relievers held the on-again, off-again Phillies offense to 2 baserunners over the final seven innings.   2nd year outfielder Jon Jay went 2 for 3 with a walk and drove in 2 runs as the Cardinals pounded Lee and edged the Phillies by 5-4 to even the NL division playoff series at a game apiece.

In the other NL division series game, the Arizona Diamondbacks pounded 3 homers but were routed 9-4 by the  Milwaukee Brewers who took a 2-0 lead in their series.

The usually reliable Lee struck out 9 but had trouble with the leadoff hitters in the first and second innings, although he escaped unscathed until the 3 run Cardinal fourth.  Clinging to the 4-3 lead, Lee set the side down in order in the fifth and looked ready to cruise getting the 1st two outs in the sixth.  But 2nd baseman Ryan Theriot doubled and Jay drove him in with a single to tie the game.   Then, in the seventh, rightfielder Allen Craig led off with a triple to deep centerfield and scored as 1st baseman Albert Pujols followed with a single into shallow left center for what would be the winning run.

Once again, the Phils went into an offensive shell after putting up the 4 runs in the first two innings.   After the 1st 2 innings, the only runners reaching for the Phils were shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who went 3 for 4 with 2 towering doubles, nearly homers, and scoring 2 runs for the game and who singled with 2 outs in the seventh only to be caught trying to steal 2nd base, and 2nd baseman Chase Utley who led off the eighth by being hit by a pitch from reliever  Mitchell Boggs but was left stranded.  The Phils went down on 9 pitches with nary a wimper in the ninth as  Jason Motte was credited with the save.   Reliever Octavio Dotel, who pitched the sixth and 1/3 of the seventh inning was credited with the win.  The only bright spot for the Phils, after the second inning, was that 4 Phils relievers held the Cards to 1 hit and a total of 3 base runners after Lee’s seventh inning departure with none out and over the final three innings.

AP’s game recap for Yahoo sports provides more lowlights of Monday’s game.

For all of Sunday’s playoff results in both leagues, click here.

The two teams have Monday off before travelling to St. Louis for Tuesday’s game 3 another Phils All Star lefthander Cole Hamels against Jaime Garcia for the Cards in a battle of lefties.

For all of Monday’s and Tuesday’s scheduled playoff games throughout MLB, click here and here.

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