- Associated Press - Friday, August 22, 2014

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Adam Wainwright is eager to get past his recent struggles.

Ryan Howard drove in a pair of runs and Kyle Kendrick overcame a rocky opening inning to lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a 5-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night.

Ben Revere, who entered the day second in the NL in batting, went 3 for 4 to raise his average to .315. Chase Utley and Marlon Byrd also drove in runs for Philadelphia, which won its third in four games.

Matt Adams homered and Matt Holliday drove in two runs for the Cardinals, who lost for just the second time in nine games.

Wainwright (15-8) failed in his bid to become the first 16-game winner in the big leagues while continuing his August struggles. The right-hander allowed five runs, four earned, and six hits in six innings, dropping to 2-3 with a 6.49 ERA in five starts this month.

“I haven’t been able to make pitches like I want to,” Wainwright said. “I’ve been talking myself blue in the face. Now I just have to go out and pitch.”

Wainwright walked three and struck out two.

“The worst thing tonight was walking people,” he said. “It’s inexcusable and it put us in a bad spot.”

Said manager Mike Matheny: “Adam got behind and bad things started to happen. He was searching for something to click.”

Wainwright looked to be in good position to earn the victory after the first inning.

Kendrick (6-11) increased his first-inning ERA to 9.69 this season by allowing three early runs.

“It’s not in my head at all; it’s really not,” Kendrick said. “I don’t know. It’s one of those things this year. It will be gone next year I think.”

Kendrick left after giving up four runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings. Adams’ leadoff homer in the third was the right-hander’s only other blemish, and he finished by retiring his final eight batters. Kendrick has a 4.01 ERA in all innings other than the first this season.

“You just have to battle,” Kendrick said. “I’m a competitor. I don’t want to lose, so I just had to keep battling.”

Jonathan Papelbon capped 2 2-3 innings of scoreless relief by the Phillies’ bullpen with a 1-2-3 ninth for his 31st save in 33 opportunities.

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