Wild play leads to another St. Louis win
It appeared as if the St. Louis Cardinals and Arizona Diamondbacks were heading back to extra-innings when Jhonny Peralta grounded a ball to third in the bottom of the ninth, but the play quickly unraveled for the Dbacks, giving St. Louis a 4-3 walk-off win Wednesday night at Busch Stadium.
With the bases loaded and one out in the inning, Peralta bounced the first pitch he saw from Brad Ziegler to third baseman Yasmany Tomas, who threw home for the force out. Arizona catcher Jordan Pacheco then went to throw to first to cap off a 5-2-3 double play, but air-mailed the throw down the right-field line, allowing Matt Carpenter to score the winning run.
The win makes it four-straight victories for the Cardinals, who extended their lead in the National League Central to 5 1/2 games after the Cubs fell to the Nationals 3-0 at Wrigley Field. The Pittsburgh Pirates are knocking on the door to second place, though, after running off six-straight wins over the past week.
St. Louis (31-16) got a solid start from right-hander Lance Lynn, who allowed three runs (two earned) in six innings of work, striking out five, but walking four. A combination of Mitch Harris, Randy Choate and Seth Manness tossed three scoreless innings of relief work, with the latter picking up his first win of the season.
Kolten Wong got things going offensively, taking Arizona starter Josh Collmenter deep in the bottom of the first for his sixth homer of the year. Mark Reynolds followed that up in the bottom of the second with an RBI single that extended the Cardinals’ lead to 2-0.
Arizona (21-25) answered back in the top of the fourth against Lynn, connecting on a solo-shot to center field that pulled the Dbacks’ within 2-1. A David Peralta single, coupled with an error by Jason Heyward in the top of the sixth gave Arizona a 3-2 lead that lasted until the bottom of the ninth, when Heyward redeemed himself.
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The St. Louis right-fielder took the 1-1 pitch from Ziegler and deposited it into the right-field seats, tying the game 3-3 and setting up the eventual game-winning play later in the inning. The blast was Heyward’s fifth in a Cardinals uniform.
Veteran St. Louis outfielder Matt Holliday broke a franchise record in the fifth when he singled to reach base for the 43rd-consecutive game to open the season, which also set a new National League mark. Holliday trails five other players – all of whom played in the American League – for the MLB all-time mark.
With a little more breathing room in the standings, St. Louis continues its home stand by welcoming the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers to town on Friday night. Veteran John Lackey (2-3, 3.18) will be opposed by right-hander Mike Bollinger (3-0, 0.71). First pitch is set for 7:15 p.m. CT.