- Associated Press - Friday, June 20, 2014

ST. LOUIS (AP) - When the St. Louis Cardinals needed a big hit Thursday night, David Buchanan was there to deny them.

The rookie pitched neatly into the eighth inning and Ryan Howard homered and drove in three runs, sparking the Phillies to a 4-1 victory over the Cardinals.

Buchanan stopped the Cardinals twice but the Phillies made the most out of two opportunities against St. Louis pitcher Shelby Miller.

That turned out to be the difference.

“You have to give them credit,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. “They were able to do something that we weren’t.”

Philadelphia touched Miller for two runs in the fourth to take the lead. Carlos Ruiz doubled and Chase Utley singled to lead off the inning. Howard singled home Ruiz and Utley scored on Domonic Brown’s sacrifice fly.

“They get a leadoff double and did a nice job getting him over and a nice job getting him in and getting the other guy over to third,” Matheny said. “Then a sac fly. It was situational hitting and opportunities like that can really turn the tide for a club.”

The Cardinals had runners at first and third with one out in the second inning but Buchanan pitched out of the jam and then again in the sixth when Miller doubled to lead off.

“We had an opportunity that was missed in the second,” Matheny said. “We had first and third and the opportunity to get a run in there and we don’t do it. We got hit on both sides - us not doing it and them doing a real nice job of doing the little things right.”

Howard, a St. Louis native, has hit safely in 22 of 27 regular season games at Busch Stadium. He has 38 RBIs in St. Louis and a .374 batting average.

“It’s always good to be able to come back home and play in front of family and friends,” Howard said. “It’s a very familiar feeling. It’s always good to be back.”

Buchanan (3-3) made his deepest start yet, pitching 7 2-3 innings. He threw 105 pitches and kept the Cardinals off balance and off the scoreboard until the eighth. Buchanan allowed four hits and a walk while striking out four.

Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth to pick up 17th save in 19 opportunities.

Miller (7-6) gave up seven hits and three walks in 6 2-3 innings. Miller has thrown six innings or more in his last four starts.

Howard’s homer in the sixth - his 10th career homer at Busch Stadium - came after Utley led off with a single. It gave the Phillies a 4-0 lead.

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