Walk-off walk wins wild game for Cardinals

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Okay, St. Louis Cardinals fans. Put the defibrillator paddles away.

In a game that threatened to tax the hearts of even the most die-hard Cardinals fan, Colorado Rockies closer John Axford surrendered a walk-off walk to Greg Garcia and gave St. Louis a dramatic 9-8 win Thursday at Busch Stadium.

The win gave the Cardinals a 65-37 overall record and a 5 1/2 game lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Central.

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It was nice to see the offense explode for one game after St. Louis dropped 4-0 and 1-0 contests to the Cincinnati Reds back-to-back.

It was also nice to see my Twitter feed explode with praise about Matt Carpenter. If I had a dollar for every time Carpenter was mentioned Thursday night, I’d be a millionaire.

All Carpenter did was go 4-for-5 with four runs scored and four RBIs.

Kolten Wong, Jhonny Peralta, Jason Heyward and Stephen Piscotty also had two hits apiece, part of a 14-hit onslaught the Cardinals had off Rockies pitcher Chris Rusin and his relievers. After two games of the offense choking against the Reds, it was very nice to see players hit the ball.

All this and Brandon Moss wasn’t even in the lineup yet.

Colorado took an 8-6 lead in the eighth inning on a sacrifice fly by Jose Reyes that scored Brandon Barnes. Charlie Blackmon later scored on a throwing error.

In the bottom of the ninth Peralta’s two-run single tied the score at 8-8, and Garcia later walked in Wong with the winning run.

Up next

The two teams face each other again at 8:15 p.m. on Friday. Michael Wacha (11-4, 3.27 ERA) faces Rockies pitcher Kyle Kendrick (4-11, 6.33). Be careful. Kendrick is 6-3 with a 3.53 ERA against the Cardinals in his career.

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