Flaherty fans 13 for 1st MLB win as Cards beat Phillies 5-1

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Even after such an impressive outing, Jack Flaherty just wanted to talk about his hitting.

Flaherty struck out a career-high 13 to earn his first major league win and Tyler O’Neill homered as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-1 on Sunday.

Making his ninth big league start, Flaherty (1-1) gave up only two hits and walked one in 7 2/3 dominant innings. But after throwing 120 pitches, all the rookie right-hander had on his mind was his first hit in 10 at-bats — a relatively meaningless single in the third.

“I got tired of looking up at the scoreboard and seeing all those zeros by my batting average,” Flaherty said. “So I needed to do something about it.”

Jordan Hicks got four outs to finish the two-hitter and threw the fastest pitch in the majors this season, according to Statcast — a 105 mph fastball to Odubel Herrera in the ninth. Hicks hit 105 mph twice and 104 three times against Herrera, the five fastest pitches in the big leagues this year.

The rookie reliever threw 11 pitches 100 mph or harder Sunday.

Herrera went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts, ending his on-base streak at 45 games dating to last season.

“At some point, the streak had to end,” he said. “It’s part of the game. It’s part of baseball. Now, I’m looking forward to starting a new streak.”

O’Neill, who had three hits in the cleanup spot, homered for the second time in two games. His solo shot off Aaron Nola (6-2) in the sixth made it 3-1.

“I’m feeling a lot more comfortable,” O’Neill said. “The best part is that I was able to contribute and we got the win.”

Matt Carpenter added three hits and Greg Garcia drove in two runs to help St. Louis split the four-game series.

Rhys Hoskins homered in the fourth off Flaherty, who retired 10 in a row during one stretch.

“What Jack pulled off is one of the best starts we’ve seen in a long time,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “We pushed him and he responded. There were really no stress innings. He was extraordinary.”

Flaherty was called up Tuesday from Triple-A Memphis when Cardinals starters Adam Wainwright and Carlos Martinez went on the disabled list. He became the 13th pitcher to strike out at least 13 in a game this season. Flaherty’s total marked the most by a Cardinals pitcher since Martinez fanned 13 on Aug. 29, 2016, against the Braves.

Matheny was considering removing Flaherty after seven, especially with his spot in the batting order coming up to start the bottom of the inning.

“I looked at him and he gave me a dirty look and I thought that was perfect,” Matheny said.

Nola gave up a season-high four runs on seven hits over six innings. He struck out six, walked one and had a five-game winning streak snapped.

“They hit me pretty well today,” Nola said. “I left some balls over the plate, right in their paths.”

Garcia broke a 1-all tie with a run-scoring single in the fourth. He added a sacrifice fly in the sixth.

St. Louis improved to 17-7 against Philadelphia since the start of the 2015 season.


Cardinals: RHP Alex Reyes tossed 7 2/3 scoreless innings and struck out 13 in a minor league rehab stint at Double-A Springfield on Saturday. Reyes is recovering from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.


Phillies: RHP Nick Pivetta (3-2, 3.72 ERA) will face Atlanta RHP Mike Foltynewicz (3-2, 2.87) in the first of a three-game series Monday in Philadelphia. Pivetta tied a career high with 11 strikeouts in a 4-1 win over Baltimore on Wednesday.

Cardinals: RHP Miles Mikolas (5-0, 2.63) opposes Kansas City RHP Ian Kennedy (1-4, 4.98) in the opener of a three-game set in St. Louis on Monday. Mikolas has held opponents to two runs or less in his last six starts.

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