The struggle continued for David Buchanan on Thursday.
The Cardinals 2-3-4 hitters – Matt Carpenter, Matt Holliday and Matt Adams – for seven hits, six runs scored and six RBI as the Cardinals continued to pound the Phillies with consistent offense.
A three-run first inning deficit was erased, but only to see the right-hander give up four more runs in another 3 1/3 innings before exiting in line for what would be his fifth loss of the season as the Cardinals claimed the series with a 9-3 win on Thursday afternoon at Busch Stadium.
Buchanan got off to a rough start again, allowing four straight hits to open the first. Two runs scored as a result on RBI doubles by Carpenter and Holliday. Another run scored as Jason Heyward grounded into a double play.
The Phillies answered back with a run in the second. After getting two baserunners to start the inning, it took a two-out RBI single by Odubel Herrera to plate a run and cut the Cardinals lead to two.
The Phillies tied the game in the third. Darin Ruf led off the inning with a solo home run to left-center, his second of the season. With two runners on and one out, Cody Asche belted a pitch to the warning track in right field for a long sacrifice fly, scoring Ryan Howard from third.
Rookie starter Tim Cooney, making his major-league debut, lasted just 2 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts. Carlos Villanueva came on to pitch 3 2/3 perfect innings in relief to earn the win.
The Cardinals retook the lead in the third on a two-run home run by Adams.
Two more runs scored in the fifth as Holliday doubled home a run for the second time on the day and Adams followed with an RBI single.
Buchanan pitched 4 1/3 innings allowing seven runs on eight hits. He walked three and struck out one.
Jake Diekman allowed an inherited run to score in 2/3 of an inning of relief. Justin De Fratus pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Luis Garcia allowed two runs in the eighth on an RBI single by Jon Jay and a bases-loaded walk to Jhonny Peralta.
The Phillies dropped to 8-15 on the season with the loss, their third straight in the series. The Phillies now head to Miami for a three-game weekend series with the Marlins. The series opener begins on Friday at 7:10 p.m.
Kevin Durso is a contributing writer and editorial assistant for Philliedelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.