PHILADELPHIA -- Ryan Howard faced an 0-and-2 count in a game that had a tie score and the slugger was one pitch from adding to his league-high strikeout total. Instead, he earned a share of the home run lead.
Howard homered leading off the eighth inning and Philadelphia's sputtering offense showed small signs of breaking loose in a 4-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night.
Howard's shot tied All-Star teammate Chase Utley for the NL home run lead with 25. Howard's 80 runs batted in lead the league.
Cardinals starter Mark Mulder, making his first start since September, left with more pain in his shoulder after throwing only 16 pitches.
"It's like a tease because you think everything is OK," Mulder said.