ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jake Westbrook allowed a run in seven innings and the St. Louis Cardinals snapped a three-game losing streak in manager Tony La Russa’s first game back from illness, capitalizing on Cliff Lee’s career-high six walks to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 3-1 Monday night.
Lee (2-4) is winless in six starts since throwing a three-hit shutout at Washington on April 14 and departed after 122 pitches in 6 1-3 innings. Ryan Theriot, Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman walked twice apiece off Lee, helping the Cardinals rebound after getting swept at Cincinnati.
Fernando Salas worked the ninth for his fourth save in four chances.
The Phillies totaled four hits and had only three runners in scoring position against Westbrook (3-3).
Jimmy Rollins had two of the Phillies’ five hits. Philadelphia (25-15) has the best record in the NL, but has totaled six runs in a three-game losing streak. The Phillies fielded a lineup minus Shane Victorino and Placido Polanco.
The 66-year-old La Russa was back on the job after missing a six-game trip while getting treated for shingles, during which St. Louis went 2-4. His first lineup card, revised a couple of hours before game-time for better defense against a team that has four left-handed hitters, featured three-time NL MVP Albert Pujols at third base for the first time since Sept. 23, 2002.
Pujols started 89 games at third base in 2001-02, his first two seasons, but this was his first start other than first base or designated hitter since 2004. He bobbled a potential double play ball in the second and the Phillies ended up scoring on Ben Francisco’s RBI single, but otherwise looked comfortable and started a double play on John Mayberry’s grounder in the sixth.
Lee entered averaging 1.2 walks per nine innings, best in the National League, and walked no more than two in any of his previous eight starts this year. He wasn’t hit hard, allowing six singles that were well-placed, and the Cardinals left the bases loaded in the first and fourth.
Holliday and Berkman drew full-count walks to start the fourth and both scored on singles by Nick Punto and Theriot, the latter for a 2-1 lead. Jon Jay’s RBI single chased Lee in the seventh.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)