The St. Louis Cardinals showed more backbone Friday than at any previous point this season, coming back from a 6-0 deficit to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-6.
Dare I say they looked like the 2011-12 Redbirds who never knew when to say die?
With a rusty Joe Kelly on the mound for his first start since he tore his hamstring in April, the Cardinals found themselves down 6-0 after two innings and it looked like it was going to be a short night for baseball fans in St. Louis.
But the Birds scored two runs in the fourth of a towering Matt Adams home run to cut the deficit to four and get off the mat. Then in the fourth the Cardinals batted around, scoring a run on Kolten Wong's fourth homer since he returned from the disabled list, two more on a home run by Jhonny Peralta and the tying run on an RBI groundout from Oscar Taveras.
The bullpen put up seven zeros in a row while the offense climbed back into the game. And the Redbirds got the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth when Matt Holliday hit a home run to account for his 12th game winning RBI of the season, tops in the National League.
The win gives St. Louis a chance to catch Milwaukee in the NL Central standings Saturday and to lead at the All-Star break.
Milwaukee, once in firm command of the division, has lost six games in a row and 11 out of 12 to blow 5 1/2 games of the 6 1/2-game lead it enjoyed July 1.
Holliday and Peralta were each 3-for-4 on the night with a homer to pace the offense.
Trevor Rosenthal gave up a lead-off hit with a 1-2 count to start the bottom of the ninth but then clamped down on the heart of the Milwaukee order, striking out Ryan Braun and Khris Davis before retiring Rickie Weeks on a ground out to gain his 28th save.