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Phillies' skid hits 5 games after 3-1 loss

Friday - 7/26/2013, 12:12am  ET

Philadelphia Phillies' Laynce Nix (19) celebrates with Kyle Kendrick (38) after scoring on a single by Erik Kratz as St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina checks the ball in the fourth inning of a baseball game, Thursday, July 25, 2013 in St. Louis.(AP Photo/Tom Gannam)

STEVE OVERBEY
Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Kyle Kendrick contained the high-powered St. Louis offense for five of his six innings on Thursday night.

But that one inning proved to be the Philadelphia right-hander's undoing.

St. Louis scored three times in the third and Lance Lynn bounced back from a frustrating stretch to allow one run over seven innings as the Cardinals earned a 3-1 win over the Phillies.

Kendrick, who had given up six earned runs in two of his past three starts, allowed just three runs and five hits. He gave up just one hit in the five innings that the Cardinals did not score.

"Besides that one inning, he was good," Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said. "We just couldn't get any runs."

The Phillies have lost a season high-tying five games in a row. They have scored just nine runs during the skid.

Kendrick (9-7) gave up all three runs during a six-batter stretch. He struck out one and walked two.

"I thought I made some pitches, but they were really aggressive," Kendrick said. "It's was a quality start, but I have to pitch better than that tonight and I didn't."

St. Louis infielder Matt Carpenter said Kendrick was sharp throughout the game.

"He pitched pretty good the whole game," Carpenter said. "The key was when we had base runners out there we were able to get some runs."

The Phillies also dropped five straight from June 7-12. They were outscored by St. Louis 18-5 over the past three games.

"This series was definitely frustrating," Philadelphia third baseman Michael Young said. "We simply got outplayed."

Carpenter, Jon Jay and Matt Adams drove in runs for the Cardinals, who have won seven of nine.

St. Louis has the most wins in the majors at 62 and is a season-high 25 games over .500.

Lynn (12-5) had dropped four of his previous five decisions and was 3-4 with a 6.32 ERA in his past eight starts.

"I knew I had to be a lot better than I had been," Lynn said. "It was bad."

Lynn came out against the Phillies with an aggressive mindset, which paid immediate dividends. He realized quickly that he had rediscovered his early season groove.

"I had good stuff early on and I could feel it," Lynn said. "I knew I had it from the get-go. I was able to attack with my fastball and able to get into a rhythm."

Lynn, who was 8-1 with a 2.76 ERA in his first 12 starts, gave up just five hits against the slumping Phillies, who have scored just nine runs during the five-game skid. He struck out six and walked four.

Lynn's turnaround came at a perfect time. St. Louis is set to embark on an 11-game road swing beginning Friday in Atlanta.

Lynn, whose last win came on July 7, retired eight batters in a row from the fourth through seventh innings. He set the side down in order in the fifth and sixth on a combined 23 pitches.

"That's what we've been hoping to see," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. "He kept his focus and he still maintained his energy. He had impressive depth to his sinker."

Closer Edward Mujica picked up his 30th save in 32 opportunities. He struck out two and is tied with Pittsburgh's Jason Grilli for the most saves in the NL. Trevor Rosenthal pitched a scoreless eighth for the Cardinals.

Mujica, who converted his first 21 save opportunities this season, needed to 14 pitches to clinch the victory.

"At the beginning of the season, they gave me the ball in the seventh inning," Mujica said. "I never thought about being a closer. This is unbelievable for me."

Carpenter drove in Pete Kozma with a one-out single. Jay followed with an RBI triple and Adams added a run-scoring single.

St. Louis, which leads Pittsburgh by 2
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