Holland can’t hold lead; Cardinals fall to Phillies

St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Greg Holland gathers himself after giving up an RBI single in the eighth inning of a baseball game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Philadelphia Phillies at Busch Stadium on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in St. Louis. Photo by Laurie Skrivan,

When Ozuna got to the warning track, he found out he couldn’t catch the ball that had hit the wall and also discovered he now was “too close” to the wall to stop the carom that shot past him. Kingery got a triple out of what could have been a double and then scored what proved to be the winning run when shortstop Yairo Munoz made a diving stop on what was an infield hit by Jorge Alfaro.

“(But) if I’m putting myself in better situations, one bad pitch is a double and no runs are in. I’ve got to limit the things I can control and that’s putting guys on base for free, especially in a situation with two outs and nobody on. I felt I was throwing the ball well enough. It’s just that putting together 15 good pitches in a row is kind of eluding me.”

The last time the Cardinals tried to extend the 22-year-old Hicks into a second inning, on April 24 against New York, he allowed a run in his second inning, walking the leadoff batter, who scored the tying run. Earlier in the month, he did knock off two scoreless innings on one occasion and 2 1/3 on another. But Saturday was his third outing in four days.

Matheny said that in Holland’s case, “He’s the last one who’s going to give an excuse. When he’s rolling, everything looks right and you’re seeing the awkward swings, you’re seeing the good pitches in tough counts … everything that has made him successful. He’s just having a hard time repeating it throughout an inning. We still believe he’s going to get there but we’re going to have to figure out how to use him until he does.

Cardinals starter John Gant, featuring his good changeup, struck out seven in the first four innings, making only one notable mistake in allowing a two-run homer to Herrera, who reached base for the 45th straight game. But Gant was victimized by two throwing errors by shortstop Jedd Gyorko, who didn’t get a lot of help at first from Jose Martinez.

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