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Cards Celebrate After Craig's Walk Off Hit
The St. Louis Cardinals survived a blown save that sent the game into extra innings and walked off with a 5-4 win over the MIlwaukee Brewers in ten innings Sunday afternoon at Busch Stadium.
Allen Craig's base hit scored Matt Carpenter with the winning run as the Cardinals avoided a three game sweep by the Brewers and maintained their slim lead in the race for the second wildcard playoff spot in the National League.
Craig says the winning hit was just good enough to get the job done. "I knew it was going to be a tough play at home because I hit it hard and Aoki's got a strong, accurate arm out there. Carp did a great job of getting around that tag."
Carpenter, who left Saturday night's game after getting several small lacerations from a bat that broke off in his hand, was seeing more red when his hand slid over home plate with the winning run. "I got some new blood from that," Carpenter said. "I knew there would be a play at the plate. I had an angle and just tried to avoid the tag and thankfully got in there."
Lance Lynn worked a scoreless top of the 10th to earn the win in relief for St. Louis. He improves to 14-7 on the season.
With one out in the 10th, Carpenter singled through the hole at second base off Brewers reliever Kameron Loe (6-5). Pinch hitter Adron Chambers struck out swinging, but the pitch got away and Carpenter advanced to second. Craig then singled to right but the throw from Norichika Aoki was in front of the plate and Carpenter slid in with the winning run. The Cardinals mobbed Allen Craig as he rounded first base.
The dramatics in extra innings were set up by a game tying rally by Milwaukee. St. Louis carried a 4-2 lead into the 9th inning with the ball in closer Jason Motte's hands. Motte got Carlos Gomez on a strikeout before rookie Jean Segura doubled to right-center field. Motte then retired Logan Schafer on a grounder and had a 2-2 count on Aoki when the Brewers rightfielder hit a line drive down the right field line that hit off the top of the wall and landed in the seats for a home run, tying the game 4-4. It was Motte's sixth blown save of the season.
The afternoon got off to a great start for the Cardinals, who jumped on Milwaukee starter and former MSU Bear Shaun Marcum with three runs in the 1st. Jon Jay got a base hit, and with one out, Matt Holliday belted his 26th home run of the season to give St. Louis a 2-0 lead. One out later, Carlos Beltran clubbed his 29th homer. It was his first long ball since August 10th.
A wild pitch by Cards starter Joe Kelly in the 2nd allowed the Brewers to get on the board 3-1, but St. Louis came right back in the bottom of the inning and scored a run on Carpenter's RBI double that made it 4-1.
Jean Segura, who played much of the season with the Arkansas Travelers and was called up to the Angels for one game before being traded to Milwaukee for pitcher Zack Greinke, singled in a run in the 4th that made the score 4-2.
Kelly worked a scoreless 5th and 6th, then relievers Edward Mujica and Mitchell Boggs combined to shut down the Brewers in the 7th and 8th before Motte's blown save.
The Cardinals improve to 75-65 on the season, and hit the road for games in San Diego and Los Angeles. Jaime Garcia (4-6, 4.16 ERA) will pitch the opener Monday night in San Diego. He'll be opposed by the Padres' Eric Stults (5-2, 2.35 ERA).
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