PHILADELPHIA -- After the first inning, the results for Kyle Kendrick are completely different.
Ben Revere, who entered the day second in the NL in batting, went 3 for 4 to raise his average to .315. Chase Utley and Marlon Byrd also drove in runs for Philadelphia, which won its third in four games.
Kendrick (6-11) increased his first-inning ERA to 9.69 this season by allowing three early runs. He left after giving up four runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings.
"It's not in my head at all; it's really not," Kendrick said. "I don't know. It's one of those things this year. It will be gone next year I think."
Adam Wainwright (15-8) failed in his bid to become the first 16-game winner in the big leagues while continuing his August struggles. The right-hander allowed five runs, four earned, and six hits in six innings, dropping to 2/3 with a 6.49 ERA in five starts this month.
"I haven't been able to make pitches like I want to," Wainwright said. "I've been talking myself blue in the face. Now I just have to go out and pitch."
Wainwright looked to be in good position to earn the victory after the first inning.
It was a continuing theme for Kendrick, but he settled down after his early struggles.
Adams' leadoff homer in the third was the right-hander's only other blemish, and he finished by retiring his final eight batters. Kendrick has a 4.01 ERA in all innings other than the first this season.
"You just have to battle," Kendrick said. "I'm a competitor. I don't want to lose, so I just had to keep battling. That's all you can do. Keep making pitches, keep grinding and try to keep your team in the game."
Jonathan Papelbon capped 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief by the Phillies' bullpen with a 1-2-3 ninth for his 31st save in 33 opportunities.
Philadelphia took the lead with four runs in the third thanks to some help from the Cardinals.
Carlos Ruiz singled and Howard got a late stop sign from coach Pete Mackanin after rounding third base. Adams caught Jon Jay's relay throw from center and appeared to have an easy out, but he threw wildly to third and Howard scored on the error.
The Phillies, who batted around in the inning, scored their first three runs on RBIs by Utley, Howard and Byrd.
Holliday's two-run double and Jay's sacrifice fly staked St. Louis to a 3-0 lead. Jay went 0 for 3, ending his 12-game hitting streak.
Holliday nearly tied it in the eighth, but Byrd leaped high against the fence to catch the drive to right.
Cardinals: C Yadier Molina (right thumb) missed his 35th straight game on Friday night.
Phillies: OF John Mayberry (right wrist), on the DL since July 21, played in his third rehab game with Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Friday night. Mayberry entered Friday 2 for 7 with Lehigh Valley.
Cardinals: RHP Shelby Miller (8-9, 4.25) pitches the second game of the three-game set at 7:05 Saturday night. Miller has allowed a team-high 17 homers and 64 walks in 139 2/3 innings. He took the loss against the Phillies on June 19 when he gave up four runs in 6 2/3 innings.
Phillies: RHP David Buchanan (6-7, 4.25) makes his 14th start of the season in place of injured lefty Cliff Lee (left elbow), who is out for the season. Buchanan is 1-0 with a 1.17 ERA in one career start against the Cards.
Revere is batting .373 since June 26 with multiple hits in 25 of 49 games over that stretch.
"It's just been, `See the ball, hit the ball, don't hit it to the defense," Revere said.
CLOSE TO HR
Holliday came within a few feet of his 13th homer.
"He hit it real well," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "I was surprised it didn't go out."