ST. LOUIS – The Philadelphia Phillies pull off a stunner at Busch Stadium, rallying for six ninth-inning runs in a 6-3 comeback victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Phillies loaded the bases against Cardinals closer Ryan Helsley, just three days after he dealt with a jammed finger in a late regular season game. Helsley navigated through the eighth inning and departed with the Cardinals leading, 2-1.
Jean Segura picked up the big hit for the Phillies, a single just above Tommy Edma’s glove to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead in the first at-bat after a pitching change to Andre Pallante.
“I’m trying to be ready for whatever situation they would need me in,” said Pallante. “I knew what situation I needed to be ready for after the first guy got on. Mentally, I started preparing myself for that. Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened.”
Helsley was charged with the loss and St. Louis is now conducting tests on the middle finger on his pitching hand. His status for the rest of the series will be determined Saturday.
The Cardinals entered the ninth inning with a two-run lead. Juan Yepez broke a scoreless tie in the seventh inning with a two-run, pinch-hit home run. Yepez entered the game for Corey Dickerson after the Phillies lifted starting pitcher Zack Wheeler, who held the Cardinals scoreless over 6.1 innings.
“A great swing and a huge moment for our team,” said Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado on the at-bat. “Credit to him for staying in, coming ready and having a great at-bat.”
“Everybody has a role on their roster and they understand where they fit and how they fit into the game,” said Cardinals manager Oli Marmol. “[Yepez] came in and did exactly what we talked about. A big swing.”
The game, until the end, was primarily a pitcher’s duel. Jose Quintana started the game for the Cardinals, firing 5.1 scoreless innings with three strikeouts. He escaped two early jams with runners in scoring position.
“I love the way he competed,” said Marmol. “Everything you would expect out of the guy in Game 1. Mixed his pitches, kept guys off balanced. Exactly what you would expect out of Q.”
After the Phillies rallied for a six-run ninth inning, the Cardinals got back one with a pinch-hit, two-out single from Nolan Gorman. It wasn’t enough to overcome the Phillies’ big inning.
The winner of the Cardinals-Phillies Wild Card Series will advance to take on the Atlanta Braves in the National League Division Series next week. The Phillies now hold a 1-0 series lead and just need one more to advance.
“The next game is a new day,” said Marmol. “We know what’s at stake. We don’t want to go home. We’ll embrace that.”
First pitch for Saturday is set for 7:37 p.m. CT.