ST. LOUIS — Getting back in the win column was big for Michael Wacha and the St. Louis Cardinals.
Aledmys Diaz hit a solo home run and Wacha pitched six strong innings as the Cardinals snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night.
Earlier Friday, the Cardinals, who had lost 17 of their last 22 games, reassigned some members of the coaching staff and released veteran infielder Jhonny Peralta.
“This definitely feels good,” Wacha said. “We have the music blaring in here after a win. It’s been awhile so it’s good to get back in that win column.”
Seung Hwan Oh pitched the ninth, earning his 14th save in 16 chances. He gave up a leadoff double to Odubel Herrera, who went to third on a ground out. But Oh got a strikeout and left fielder Tommy Pham made a diving catch on a line drive by Freddy Galvis to pick up the save.
“As soon as I saw Tommy running, I knew he had it,” Oh said through translator Eugene Koo. “We got the job done and I’m happy with the results.”
The bullpen had surrendered 11 runs in the previous 8 1/3 innings. Against the Phillies, the bullpen had three scoreless innings.
Wacha (3-3) went six innings before being lifted for a pinch hitter. He allowed five hits and two runs.
“I felt like I had pretty good command of mostly everything,” Wacha said. “Overall, my stuff felt really good.”
It was the first quality start in any of the past seven games for a St. Louis starter. Wacha had not able to finish five innings in each of his last three starts.
Jeremy Hellickson (5-4) took the loss. He pitched six innings, allowing 10 hits but just three runs. It was the 14th start of six innings or longer this season for the Phillies.
“Hellickson dodged bullets all night,” Philadelphia manager Pete Mackanin said. “He gave up a lot of hits but beared down when he had to. He pitched well enough to win and he pitched well enough to lose. We just couldn’t score.”
Diaz gave the Cardinals a 3-2 lead when he hit a two-out homer in the fifth inning.
“You never go to home plate expecting to hit a homer but I think when you put a good swing on it, you get a chance to hit a homer,” Diaz said.
It was Diaz’s first home run since May 1.
“I’ve got to keep the ball in the yard,” Hellickson said.
The Phillies scored two in the second with two outs. Howie Kendrick doubled and scored on a single by Tommy Joseph. Aaron Altherr then tripled off the wall in right.
The Cardinals answered with two runs in the third to tie.
“Those two runs got us back after being down two,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. “The offense was putting some pressure on right away and got us right back in the game.”
Matt Carpenter singled and went to third on Dexter Fowler’s double. A sacrifice by Stephen Piscotty scored Carpenter and Jed Gyorko’s single drove in Fowler. St. Louis loaded the bases but Hellickson struck out Eric Fryer.
“I just didn’t execute that inning,” Hellickson said. “They took advantage of my mistakes.”
Philadelphia lost its third straight game. The lack of a big hit was a factor in this loss to St. Louis.
“We had a couple of chances with a guy on third and less than two outs and we didn’t get it done,” Mackanin said.
Phillies: Philadelphia traded INF Taylor Featherston, who was at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, to the Tampa Bay Rays for cash considerations. He joined the Rays’ for their Friday game against Oakland.
Cardinals: Before the game, John Mozeliak, the Cardinals general manager announced some coaching moves. Mike Shildt is the new third base coach and will handle outfield defense. Coach Chris Maloney, in his second year as third-base coach, will be reassigned to a new role in the organization. Assistant hitting coach Bill Mueller is taking a leave of absence. Mark Budaska will join the club to take his spot. Also, Ron Warner will join the Cardinals to assist the coaching staff.
Phillies: RHP Joaquin Benoit is expected to be activated from the 10-day DL on Sunday. He strained his left knee walking down the steps last weekend at Citizens Bank Park.
Cardinals: C Yadier Molina was scratched from starting lineup with lower back spasms. … St. Louis activated INF Kolten Wong from the DL. Wong missed 13 games with a left elbow strain.
Phillies: RHP Nick Pivetta (1-2, 5.18) is coming off his first major league victory, an 11-4 win over Atlanta. The rookie went five innings, allowing three runs, six hits and three walks along with four strikeouts. This will be his first ever appearance against St. Louis.
Cardinals: RHP Carlos Martinez (4-5, 3.25) is 2-0 against the Phillies in five appearances. He has pitched six or more innings in his last eight starts.
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