The Cardinals were right where they didn't want to be following a pitching duel between their starter Adam Wainwright and the Phillies' Cole Hamels.
The Cards' late-inning bullpen struggles have gotten a lot of attention this season, but they managed to protect their one-run lead through the last two innings in Thursday's 4-3 win. That's good news for St. Louis starter Jaime Garcia, as he makes his start Friday following two consecutive no-decisions.
The lefty has been been solid through three starts, allowing four runs through 19 1/3 innings, but has only one win this season as the Cardinals' bullpen has allowed a combined 10 ninth-inning runs in his last two starts.
Philadelphia will likely look for more early-inning run support, as starter Roy Halladay takes the mound Friday. The Phillies haven't scored a run before the sixth inning in eight straight games, and Halladay owns the worst ERA in the Phillies' starting rotation at 7.63.
Things were starting to look up in his last start against a struggling Marlins team as the right-hander trimmed his ERA following a one-run performance through eight innings. Halladay allowed one run through eight innings in his last start against the Cardinals in 2012 and could get another boost Friday, as he looks to improve on his 3-2 record against the club.
Phillies: Lannan on DL
Phillies left-hander John Lannan was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with a strained quadriceps tendon in his left knee. Lannan, 28, indicated Wednesday he felt soreness after a poor start in Cincinnati in which he allowed six runs over 1 2/3 innings in an 11-2 loss.
The lefty was sporting a 2.77 ERA and .177 batting average against in two starts before that outing.
Cardinals: Beltran heats up
Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran enters Friday's game on a three-game hitting streak. Beltran launched the game-winning homer Thursday and is 4-for-12 in his last three games.
• Matt Carpenter struggled Thursday night as he led off the Cardinals' lineup for the first time in his 136-game career. The left-hander couldn't take advantage of the matchup with the Phillies' Cole Hamels, going 0-for-4 on the night.
• Halladay has been rock-solid in six starts against the Cards over his career. The two-time Cy Young winner owns a career 2.70 ERA against St. Louis.
• Philadelphia has struggled to produce runs during its last eight games. The Phillies enter Friday's game on a five-game losing streak and haven't scored more than three runs since April 10.
Gary Cotton is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.