ST. LOUIS, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- Ben Francisco smashed a pinch-hit three-run homer Tuesday and the Philadelphia Phillies pushed St. Louis to the brink of playoff elimination with a 3-2 win.
Shane Victorino led off the seventh with a single and went to second on a passed ball. Two outs later, Carlos Ruiz was intentionally walked Francisco came up as a pinch-hitter for Phillies starter Cole Hamels (1-0).
Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa elected to stick with starter Jamie Garcia (0-1), and Francisco made him pay by blasting a 1-0 pitch into the Phillies bullpen to put Philadelphia ahead 3-0.
Hamels tossed six shutout innings, yielding five hits, walking three and striking out eight as the Phillies grabbed a commanding 2-1 lead over the Cardinals in their National League Division Series.
Ryan Madson hurled 1 2/3 scoreless frames to finish the game and pick up the save.
Garcia ended up allowing three runs on six hits over seven innings for the Cardinals, who will try to avoid elimination in Wednesday's Game 4.