John Lannan had plenty of rest following his two best outings of the season. Getting yanked early in his first start after the All-Star break gave him time for reflection.
The Philadelphia Phillies lefty made his first appearance in 11 days and lasted just four innings in an 11-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night. He went into the break with plenty of momentum after consecutive dominant eight-inning starts.
"Sometimes you're going to have games where you give up hits and just try and limit the damage. I didn't do that tonight," Lannan said.
Walking the opposing pitcher certainly didn't help. Besides working seven solid innings, Jake Westbrook (7-4) coaxed a two-out walk, stole his second career base and then scored in the fourth to help knock out Lannan.
"That walk to Westbrook was pretty big and I threw a lot of pitches after that," Lannan said. "I felt pretty good, but I just didn't execute when I needed to."
Lannan (2-4) gave up four runs and eight hits, all of them singles. He thought it was similar to a start against the Pirates on July 3 in which he gave up four runs and 11 hits, all but one of them singles, in five innings of a 6-5 loss.
Matt Adams had two hits and three RBIs and Shane Robinson's three-run triple in the fifth was his third hit of the game for the Cardinals, who are 4-1 since the All-Star break and lead the majors with a 61-37 record. They scored in four straight innings, totaling nine runs on 12 of their 16 hits from the second through fifth.
Allen Craig had two hits and a walk to give him 16 hits during a nine-game hitting streak. He's second in the league in hitting at .337 behind teammate Yadier Molina, who had three hits and an RBI and is batting .339.
John Mayberry had two hits and an RBI for the Phillies, who were without top run producer Domonic Brown and have lost four in a row. Brown is being evaluated for concussion-like symptoms and the team expects to know Thursday whether he'll be placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list. Right fielder Delmon Young threw out a runner at the plate in the second to thwart a sacrifice fly bid.
"I'm concerned about everything," Manuel said. "When you play that sloppy, it definitely is not good."
In the Cardinals' first game after the All-Star break, Westbrook had his first career three-hit game in a win over San Diego. He's 2 for 2 in his career on steals, getting his first last season. He has scored four runs this year, matching his total from the last two seasons combined.
After retiring the side in order in the first, Lannan surrendered eight hits and two walks the next three innings. The biggest hit was Adams' two-run single on an 0-2 count with the bases loaded in the second.
The Phillies were held to one hit before bunching three singles the first four at-bats of the fifth, with Carlos Ruiz getting the RBI, but pinch hitter John McDonald grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Robinson's bases-clearing triple capped a five-run fifth against rookie J.C. Ramirez that broke the game open. Robinson's sinking liner bounced in front of and then over diving center fielder Mayberry and the Cardinals also had three doubles in the inning with Adams and David Freese getting RBIs.
Mayberry took the blame for Robinson's triple.
"It was obviously an error in judgment," Mayberry said. "There's no way I can let that ball get behind me. Even if I dive, I have to keep it in front."
Brock Peterson got his first career hit on an RBI single in two-run eighth for St. Louis.
NOTES: Lance Lynn (11-5, 4.13) has lost consecutive starts while giving up 10 runs on 17 hits in 9 1-3 innings entering the finale against Kyle Kendrick (9-6, 3.94). Kendrick is 5-1 with a 2.72 career ERA against St. Louis. ... The Cardinals scored on a pair of softly-hit balls in the third, Carpenter's leadoff infield hit and Molina's two-out bloop RBI single. ... A sellout crowd of 44,317 was the 18th sellout and put the Cardinals over 2 million attendance for the 18th straight season. ... Tony Cruz had an infield hit in the eighth in his first appearance since the break for St. Louis.