ST. LOUIS (AP) — Ryan Howard homered and drove in three runs and rookie David Buchanan pitched into the eighth inning Thursday night, sparking the Philadelphia Phillies to a 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Howard, a St. Louis native, has hit safely in 22 of 27 regular season games at Busch Stadium. He has 38 RBIs in St. Louis and a .374 batting average.
Howard also has been hot on the road. In his last 15 games away from Philadelphia, he is hitting .350 with three homers and 14 RBIs.
Buchanan (3-3) made his deepest start yet, pitching 7 2-3 innings. He threw 105 pitches and kept the Cardinals off balance and off the scoreboard until the eighth. Buchanan allowed four hits and a walk while striking out four.
Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth to pick up 17th save in 19 opportunities.
Shelby Miller (7-6) gave up seven hits and three walks in 6 2-3 innings. Miller has thrown six innings or more in his last four starts.
Philadelphia touched Miller for two runs in the fourth. Carlos Ruiz doubled and Chase Utley singled to lead off the inning. Howard singled home Ruiz and Utley scored on Domonic Brown’s sacrifice fly.
Howard’s homer in the sixth — his 10th career homer at Busch Stadium — came after Utley led off with a single. Howard went to the opposite field and his ball just flew inside the left field foul pole. It was his 14th this season and gave the Phillies a 4-0 lead.
The Phillies have won four of five and are 7-2 in their last nine games. St. Louis has lost its last two after winning five in a row.
The Cardinals had runners at first and third with one out in the second inning but Buchanan pitched out the jam and then again in the sixth when Miller doubled to lead off. Four of Miller’s five hits this season have been doubles.
St. Louis chased Buchanan in the eighth on a two-out single by Matt Carpenter that scored Jhonny Peralta.
Third baseman Reid Brignac was hurt on a play at first in the fifth. Matt Adams dived to nab the ball behind the base. Adams flipped it to Miller, who slid into the base for the out. Brignac extended his left foot and jammed it into the base. Brignac lay on the ground before being helped off the field with a noticeable limp. The club said Brignac sprained his ankle and will be checked Friday.
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