The St. Louis Cardinals turned in an uneven performance Wednesday night, blowing the lead four times before eventually losing to the Arizona Diamondbacks in 16 innings.
Infielder Daniel Descalso doubled in the third inning and moved to third when Jon Jay singled and moved to second on a wild throw. Allen Craig, who played right field Wednesday and had a scary moment in the bottom of the second when he crashed into the side wall and bloodied his knee, ripped a double to left and broke a tie ballgame with two RBIs.
Matt Holliday then singled to stretch the Cardinals lead to 4-1. It looked like it was going to be smooth sailing for the Redbirds.
Starting pitcher Lance Lynn, who gave up a homer to the first Diamondbacks batter of the game before settling down, threw four strong innings and seemed to have Arizona in hand. But he crashed in the fifth frame with a pitch count climbing close to the 100 mark.
Lynn gave up a leadoff triple to Gerardo Parra and then allowed him to score with a wild pitch. Two more Arizona batters reached before Lynn could record another out and he was pulled from the game in favor of lefty reliever Randy Choate.
Catcher Miguel Montero nearly hit one of Choate's pitches out of the ballpark. But, instead, he settled for a sacrifice fly that cut the St. Louis lead to one run. Paul Goldschmidt hit a solo homer to tie the game before the fifth inning left.
The Cardinals rallied with three runs in the sixth inning to regain the lead before losing it. They pulled ahead in the seventh when catcher Yadier Molina hit a solo homer before Arizona tied the game in the bottom of the eighth inning. In the 12th the Cardinals took a one-run lead on a Pete Kozma single. But Arizona tied the score in the bottom of the frame.
Jason Kubel scored in the bottom of the 16th inning on a Cliff Pennington single to mercifully end the longest game in the history of Chase Field.
It was a shame to see the Cardinals be unable to put the game away. After a bad start to the season when they got bombed on opening day, it would have been a nice turnaround to see the club come back to win the series.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Daniel Descalso had four hits in seven at-bats. He scored two runs and drove in two more.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Allen Craig, who was seemingly picked on with several balls hit his way in the early innings of the game as he hobbled around on his cut and bruised knee, did his part to try to keep the Diamondbacks off the scoreboard. In the second with a runner on base he sprinted back to the right field wall on a dead run and made a nice grab of a long line drive hit by Parra.
Lowlight: The Cardinals cuffed Diamondbacks starter Brandon McCarthy for nine hits and six runs in five innings of work -- but still found a way to fumble away their good fortune and lose the game.