By Sam Bush
The Phillies entered their four-game series in St. Louis against the Cards with a percentage point lead over St. Louis for the last wild card spot.
And they leave for Toronto with the same lead.
Albert Pujols passed Stan Musial on the career extra-base hits list, and Corey Dickerson and Lars Nootbar homered as the Cards beat the Phillies 6-1 for a split of the four-game series .
Aaron Nola (6-6) cruised until the bottom of the Cardinals order touched him for three runs in the fifth. Nola went seven innings, allowing five runs on seven hits. He struck out seven and walked none.
“That’s a good team over there,” Nola said. “We played them good the first two days, we came out with two wins which is good. But we’ve got a lot of baseball left.”
Pujols doubled off the right field wall to lead off the seventh, just missing a home run, to take sole possession of third place with 1,378 extra base hits. He snapped a tie with Musial, passing the Cardinals great to join a top three including Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds.
“It’s really special,” Pujols said. “Doing it here in front of our fans is even better. I don’t have any words to describe my feelings, especially the respect I have for Stan and his whole family and his legacy he left behind through this organization and to myself.”
Pujols revealed after the game that he’ll participate in the All-Star Home Run Derby this month, his fifth time in the event.
Dickerson followed with his third home run of the season, a 395-foot shot into the Cardinals bullpen.
Nootbar also connected for his third on the first pitch from reliever Michael Kelly in the eighth. Nootbar, who came in as a defensive substitution in the top of the inning, placed his shot over the left field wall to give the Cardinals a 6-1 lead.
Dylan Carlson singled to start the fourth and reached second on a fielder’s choice. With one out, Dickerson singled in Carlson and took second on the throw home. Dickerson came in on Edmundo Sosa’s double down the left-field line, and Sosa scored on Andrew Knizner’s blooper down the right field line.