PHILADELPHIA — Carlos Beltran hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth, Adam Wainwright pitched seven solid innings and the St. Louis Cardinals escaped a ninth-inning jam for a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday night.
Philadelphia put runners at first and third with nobody out against Edward Mujica, but the fill-in closer retired three straight batters to hand the Phillies their fourth consecutive defeat.
Yadier Molina went 3 for 4 with two RBIs for the Cardinals, who had seven hits one night after getting held to Beltran’s seventh-inning double in a 5-0 loss to A.J. Burnett and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Wainwright (3-1) wasn’t as sharp as his previous start, when he pitched a four-hitter and matched a career high with 12 strikeouts Saturday in an 8-0 win over Milwaukee, but he was still effective.
The right-hander gave up three runs and nine hits while striking out four and walking none. He hasn’t walked a batter in 29 innings to start the season.
Beltran broke a 3-all tie with one out in the eighth when he hit an opposite-field homer to left off Mike Adams (0-1).
Mujica wriggled out of trouble in the ninth to convert his first save opportunity. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny chose Mujica over Mitchell Boggs, who has blown two of his four save chances this season. It appeared Mujica would flop, too, but he recovered quickly.
Ben Revere led off the ninth with a single and went to third on Erik Kratz’s single to right. Kratz moved up on pinch-hitter Kevin Frandsen’s groundout to shortstop, but Revere held at third. Jimmy Rollins struck out and Freddy Galvis grounded out to end it.
Phillies ace Cole Hamels, who had a 10.97 ERA through two starts, had a second consecutive strong outing but remained winless through four starts.