05/06/09 1:08 AM ET
Victorino, Werth carry Phils over Cards
Duo combines for two homers, seven RBIs in slugfest
By B.J. Rains / MLB.com
"I don't really want to talk about it," Victorino said.
Don't try asking about his 4-for-5 performance Tuesday, either, which left him just a triple short of the cycle and propelled the Phillies to a 10-7 win over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium.
"Anything else?" he asked.
With the four hits, including a solo home run in the top of the first inning, Victorino has hit safely in 14 straight games. The streak ties a career high and has raised his average from .220 to .308 in a span of two weeks.
"I just really don't want to talk about it," Victorino insisted. "Not yet."
It's understandable for the superstitious Victorino to not want to jinx his red-hot bat, but the center fielder has quietly helped the Phillies win eight out of 10 games to climb back into first place in the National League East.
On Tuesday, Victorino and fellow outfielder Jayson Werth supplied more than enough offense to bail out starter Brett Myers.
Werth, who grew up just 90 minutes away from St. Louis in Springfield, Ill., and had his mother and a large group of family and friends at the game, launched a long three-run homer in the fifth to break the game open and put the Phillies up, 7-3.
"They see me on TV a lot," Werth said of his family. "But anytime you get a chance to play in front of your family and friends, and they get to see you live and you play good for them, it's definitely a good feeling."
The offensive juggernaut that is the Phillies now leads the NL in home runs, slugging percentage and runs per game despite playing the fewest games in the league. Even the Cardinals, who have one of the NL's top offenses, couldn't help but stop and take notice during the two-game series.
"That's a pretty [darn] good lineup over there, in my opinion," said Cards outfielder Ryan Ludwick. "Pretty stacked."
But despite the offensive success, the starting pitching continues to be the Phils' Achilles' heel. Myers couldn't get out of the sixth and allowed five earned runs on nine hits. Myers held Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hitless in three at-bats, but gave up solo home runs to Yadier Molina and Ludwick. In six starts, Myers has given up 10 homers.
While the Phillies lead the NL in offense and defense, their rotation's 6.58 ERA is the highest in the league.
"Our whole starting rotation right now is not doing too well and I'm not quite sure why," Myers said. "I don't think any of us can wrap our hands around it as to why. We're working hard. We're getting our work in, but the results just aren't there. Fortunately enough we have a high scoring offense so it ends up working out."
Victorino homered, doubled in two runs and singled in his first three at-bats, but in his next two trips to the plate, he fell short in his bid for the cycle.
"When you feel good, you feel good," Victorino said. "It's one of those things where you try to go out there and take it at-bat by at-bat. You try to find a way to help this team. I think that's basically what I am trying to do. I'm not trying to do anything differently than I've done in the past. It just seems to be going that way right now when I'm out there."
But when exactly did Victorino start feeling locked in at the plate?
"I'll let you make those assumptions," he said, with a grin.
B.J. Rains is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.