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Phelps falls short in hometown debut, defence shaky in Yankees' 6-0 loss to Cardinals

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ST. LOUIS - Pitching in his hometown for the first time, David Phelps had plenty of support off the field. The New York Yankees pitcher could have a little more help between the lines.

The Yankees were shut out for just the second time and committed two costly errors in a 6-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.

"It's not like they're out there not trying," Phelps said. "I'm never going to be frustrated with my defence. They pick me up more than they let me down."

Phelps (1-2) allowed three earned runs and eight hits in six innings. Two infield errors contributed to two unearned runs in the Cardinals' breakout four-run third.

The right-hander thought he also set a bad tone needing 28 pitches to get out of a scoreless first, giving hitters an extended look at his repertoire.

"I'm not doing a very good job of getting out of the gate," he said. "That's on me. They're seeing a lot of my pitches first time through and that makes their next at-bats that much more comfortable for them."

Phelps left 26 tickets for family and friends, including his eighth grade advanced algebra teacher and his calculus instructor from junior and senior year in high school. Several former Hazelwood West High teammates donned Yankees gear and sat behind the bullpen as he warmed up.

"The support that I got tonight was really cool," Phelps said. "It's a frustrating night overall, but coming back home and seeing people I really care about, it really means a lot."

Lance Lynn threw a five-hit shutout in his first career complete game and the Cardinals got home runs from Allen Craig and Matt Holliday.

Holliday and Matt Adams had three hits and an RBI apiece and Craig drove in two runs. The Cardinals have won 10 of 13, shaking off a 12-inning loss in the series' opener, and ended the Yankees' three-game road winning streak that matched their best of the year.

"We didn't play a very good game today but we had run off three pretty good games in a row," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "It's just part of the game. You have ups and downs."

Derek Jeter got a standing ovation before each at-bat, just like in the opener. He was 0 for 3 with a walk.

Adams leads the National League with 22 multi-hit games, Holliday has reached safely in all 23 home games and Craig has a team-high 15 RBIs this month.

Lynn (6-2) struck out two and walked three, topping his previous career best of eight innings on April 25, 2012, at Chicago against the Cubs. He retired the side in order for the third time in the ninth inning, finishing with 126 pitches.

The Yankees went 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position and stranded two runners twice. Lynn was the first pitcher to throw a complete game shutout against the Yankees since Tampa Bay's Chris Archer on July 27, 2013.

The Cardinals batted around in the third with Adams' double the lone run-producing hit. Craig reached on a bases-loaded RBI groundout when first baseman Kelly Johnson gloved an offline throw from shortstop Derek Jeter but then lost the ball attempting a sweeping tag, and two runs scored on Jhonny Peralta's grounder that scooted under second baseman Brian Roberts' glove.

Girardi absolved Johnson of much of the blame because the runner and ball arrived at about the same time. On Roberts' error, the manager said "It almost looked like he peeked at the runner."

Craig's fifth homer ticked off right fielder Alfonso Soriano's glove at the wall in the fifth. Holliday greeted reliever Alfredo Aceves with his third of the season leading off the seventh.

The Yankees opened with a big play on defence, with centre fielder Jacoby Ellsbury's running grab steps from the wall to rob leadoff man Matt Carpenter of extra bases in the first.

Adams stretched to full extension keeping his foot on the bag at first on Roberts' groundout to end the second. Rookie second baseman Kolten Wong made three nice plays, outrunning Ellsbury to first after fielding a grounder that Adams also chased, turning a smash by Yangervis Solarte into a double play ball in the fourth, and diving to snare Phelps' foul pop-up in the fifth.

NOTES: Cardinals Hall of Fame manager Whitey Herzog, recovering from a hip injury, was among those in a sellout crowd of 45,202, the team's 12th of the season. ... Hiroki Kuroda (3-3,4.55) faces Shelby Miller (6-3, 3.18) in the series finale Wednesday. Kuroda is 0-7 in his last 11 road starts since winning at Texas last July 25, the longest drought of his career. Miller is 2-2 with a 5.79 ERA in five career interleague starts. ... Phelps is 1-3 with a 5.20 ERA in five career interleague starts.

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