Even Matt Holliday wasn’t enough to slow down the Phils. The Phillies continued their marvelous July run by taking two of three against the St Louis Cardinals this weekend. With the wins the Phils are 17-5 in July.

The Cards added Holliday to their roster in time for the series in a move that may be enough to push St Louis into the group with the Phils and Dodgers of the front-runners to win the National League. The Redbirds hit JA Happ and the Phils hard in the first game as they cruised to a win, but the Phillies bats exploded in games two and three as they outscored St Louis 23-8.

The Phillies are 56-40 on the season after taking two of three from the St Louis Cardinals. They are in first place in the NL East and 16 games above .500 for the first time this season. The Braves and Marlins are tied for second, both teams are 6 1/2 games back. The Mets are in fourth place and trail the Phils by 10 1/2 games.

The Phillies lost game one 8-1. Happ took his first loss of the year, allowing five runs over six innings. He held the Cards to a run over the first five innings before allowing four runs in the sixth. St Louis scored a pair off of Walker in the seventh and another run was charged to Carpenter in the eighth.

Rollins and Victorino went a combined 6-for-9 with eight RBI in game two as the Phils rolled to a 14-6 win. The Phils jumped out with three runs in the bottom of the first, but the Cards pecked away at Lopez and led 4-3 when the Phils hit in the bottom of the sixth. Rollins delivered a two-out grand slam in the sixth and the Phillies scored five times in the inning. The Phils added six more in the bottom of the seventh to run away with it.

The Phillies got four two-run homers and a great start from Blanton in game three. The Phils won 9-2. Utley, Rollins, Ibanez and Howard all homered for the Phils. Blanton allowed two runs over eight strong innings.

The Phils didn’t pitch well in the series. Overall they threw to a 4.67 ERA with a 1.59 ratio. They gave up 38 hits in 27 innings.

Happ had a weak start in game one of the series. Blanton was fantastic in game three and Lopez good enough in game two. As a group they threw to a 4.50 ERA with a 1.45 ratio in 20 innings. All three of them went at least six innings and they walked just two in 20 frames but allowed 27 hits and three home runs.

Happ allowed five runs in six innings on ten hits in game one. After throwing two innings the game was delayed 48 minutes in the bottom of the second and Happ came back to pitch the top of the third. Put an asterisk next to the game in your mind — hope I’m wrong but I worry it may be the start of tough times for Happ.

Lopez improved to 3-0 with a win in game two. Worst start of his four on the year for Lopez. He allowed four runs on ten hits and a walk over six innings. Only three of the runs were earned — it was just the fourth time on the season that a Phillies starter was charged with a run that was not earned. He allowed two home runs in the game after not allowing any in his first three starts. He has a 3.09 ERA on the year and has made a big contribution to the rotation in July.

Blanton went eight in game two, allowing two runs on seven hits and a walk. He started June with a 6.14 ERA. He threw to a 3.62 ERA with a 1.31 ratio in June. In four starts so far in July he’s 3-0 with a 1.21 ERA and an 0.84 ratio. He’s gone at least seven innings in five of his last six starts.

The pen didn’t have a good series. They went just seven innings and pitched to a 5.14 ERA with a 2.00 ratio. They also allowed an unearned run that didn’t hurt their ERA. Walker and Carpenter were both charged with runs in game one. Register allowed a run over two innings in game two.

Eyre did not pitch in the series.

Walker started the seventh inning of game one with the Phillies down 5-0. He went one inning and allowed two runs on a triple, a double, a single and two walks.

Carpenter was active for the first game of the series before Kendrick took his spot on the roster. He pitched the eighth inning of game one with the Phillies down 7-1. He faced four batters, got three outs and gave up home run to Julio Lugo. Three appearances for Carpenter on the year so far, a start and two games in relief. All three have been bad.

Kendrick did not pitch in the series.

Park pitched the seventh inning of game two with the Phillies up 8-4. He allowed a run that was unearned due to a Howard error on two hits.

26-year-old righty Steven Register was called up for the second game of the series. He made his first appearance with the Phillies in the eighth inning of game two, entering to start the inning with the Phils up 14-5. He allowed a leadoff double to start the eighth, but kept St Louis off the board. He came back to pitch the ninth and allowed a run on a triple, a single and a walk.

Madson pitched the ninth inning of game one with the Phillies down 8-1. He allowed a leadoff single but got the next hitter and then got Yadier Molina to hit into a double-play.

Lidge threw the ninth inning yesterday in game three. He entered with a 9-2 lead and allowed a one-out double but kept St Louis off the board.

The Phillies scored 24 runs in the three-game series.

Rollins went 3-for-15 with a double, two home runs and seven RBI in the series. He had a grand slam in game two. 237/290/385 on the year.

Victorino went 4-for-4 in game two and was 8-for-13 in the series with a double, a home run and three RBI. He’s at 320/388/471 for the season. 402/476/565 in July. Rollins is on-basing .411 in July, so the Phils are getting a lot of base-runners at the top of the order.

Utley was 4-for-11 with a double and a home run. 305/420/557 for the season. He has walked less regularly in July. He’s drawn at least 13 walks in every month this season except for this one — he has drawn just nine walks this month.

Howard made two errors in game one. He was 6-for-12 with two doubles and a home run in the series. 266/351/541 on the year. He didn’t walk in the series, but has been walking a lot in July. He’s walked 17 times already this month — his high for the first three months of the season was 11 walks in May.

Ibanez was 3-for-12 with a home run and three RBI in the series. He’s at 305/365/651 for the season. If he slugs .651 all season long it will be a career high.

Werth didn’t start yesterday with Stairs starting in right. He went 2-for-7 with three walks in the series and is hitting 271/384/510 for the year. 286/458/600 in July.

Feliz was 5-for-12 with five singles in the series. 298/345/410. If he ended the season with a .755 OPS it would be his highest mark since 2004.

Ruiz started the first two games of the series and went 3-for-8 to improve his line on the year to 235/333/388.

Bako started yesterday. He was 1-for-4 with a double in the series. He’s at 211/268/263 for the season.

Bruntlett didn’t bat in the series and has a 128/202/192 line for the season.

Mayberry was 0-for-1 in the series and is hitting 189/232/453 on the year.

Dobbs was 0-for-1 in the series and is at 271/315/449 for the year.

Stairs started in right yesterday. He was 0-for-5 with a walk in the series. 246/402/449 on the year after going 1-for-15 in July.

This says that the Phillies have turned down Toronto’s request of Happ, Drabek and Dominic Brown for Halladay and that Toronto has likewise turned down the Phillies offer of Happ, Carrasco, Taylor and Donald.

This suggests that the Phillies may be interested in acquiring Cliff Lee from the Indians.

A 22-year-old man was killed in a fight near Citizens Bank Park during Saturday’s game.