Quite a homecoming for St. Louis native and Missouri State alum Ryan Howard. His grand slam in the fifth inning ended Kyle Lohse’s night and led the Phillies to a 6-1 win. Meanwhile, Rick Ankiel is recovering after crashing into the outfield wall after making a catch in the 8th inning. (Bill Greenblatt, UPI)
With one out in the 8 th inning Rick Ankiel was running toward left center chasing down a fly ball hit by Pedro Feliz. Ankiel made a running catch a few feet in front of the warning track, but appeared to stumble crashing head first into the wall.
He hit the wall so hard that his hat never came off. In fact, the impact put a perfect crease in the bill of his cap. He laid on the ground for several minutes. Chris Duncan was the first by his side and Duncan said Ankiel said he thought he was alright, that his back was just a little sore and he just wanted to lay there for a few moments.
Team doctor George Paletta came out to there to oversee Ankiel who was carted off the field after laying flat on his back for at least ten minutes. X-rays taken at the hospital were negative. GM John Mozeliak said Ankiel complained of his face being sore.
As far as the game, there was not much offense from the Cardinals. After Kyle Lohse was hit by a pitch with one out in the third, he moved to second on a ground out and scored after Joe Thurston hit a ground rule double of Phillies starter Joe Blanton.
In the fourth, Jayson Werth hit a two run homer off of Lohse, but the damage came in the fifth. After Lohse struck out the pitcher looking, Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino hit sharp singles. Then Lohse hit Chase Utley with a pitch prompting a visit from pitching coach Dave Duncan. On a 1-1 slide, Howard got a hold of it and drove over the bullpen in right field for his fifth homer and 19 th RBI of the year. (photos by Bill Greenblatt, UPI)
Blanton picked up his first win of the year, going six innings allowing just four hits while walking two and striking out three. Lohse suffered his first loss of the year giving up six earned runs in 4.1 innings.
Click to listen to LaRussa, Duncan and Mozeliak’s reaction to the Ankiel injury.