Game 91: Cardinals 5, Pirates 4

Posted by Scott Wuerz on July 8, 2014 

St. Louis Cardinals' Kolten Wong (16) tosses his helmet as he approaches home plate after hitting a walk-off home run, as Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Russell Martin (55) and relief pitcher Ernesto Frieri (29) head for the dugout in the ninth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, July 8, 2014 in St. Louis. The Cardinals beat the Pirates 5-4. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam)


Apparently the St. Louis Cardinals so enjoyed their first walk-off home run in 2 1/2 years Monday night that they decided to turn the feat again Tuesday.

But this time, instead of slugger Matt Adams with the heroics, it was second baseman Kolten Wong who belted a ball over the right field boards to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates. This time is was by a 5-4 score.

The win pulled the Redbirds to within three games of the Milwaukee Brewers in the race for first place in the National League Central Division. The Brew Crew led the Philadelphia Phillies 5-1 in the second inning Tuesday when Philly uncorked a five-run inning to take the lead in a game that would end 9-7.

Unfortunately, the Chicago Cubs choked up a 5-0 lead over Cincinnati to allow the Reds to sweep their doubleheader and stay 1/2 a game behind the Birds in third place.

Carlos Martinez started the game for the Cardinals and looked sharp for the first three innings. But he allowed two runs in the fourth to tie the game and two runs in the fifth to fall behind 4-2 before St. Louis was able to equal the score in the bottom of the fifth frame. 

Matt Carpenter singled in the St. Louis half of the fifth and then went to third on a Jon Jay single. Matt Holliday, who has had a terrible streak of hitting ground ball double plays, was in position to end the threat if he did it again. Instead, Holliday stroked a line drive into the left centerfield gap that scored both runners and tied the game.

It would remain that way until the bottom of the ninth when, with two out Wong cranked his third homer of the season and second in three days off Ernesto Frieri.

Trevor Rosenthal, who got into trouble in the top of the ninth with a walk and a hit allowed before he wiggled off the hook, got the win to improve to 1-4 on the season. 

Carpenter, Wong, Oscar Taveras each collected a pair of hits on the night. Wong drove in three of the five St. Louis runs.

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