Stop if you’ve heard this one before: the Cardinals rallied in the ninth inning to win a game.
And what a win it was.
With three home runs hit in the top of the ninth inning (all with two outs), the Cardinals rallied from 6-5 deficit to win 9-7 over the rival Pittsburgh Pirates. It puts them nine games over the .500 mark, while the Pirates lose their seventh straight.
Entering the ninth, Pirates closer Tony Watson had pitched 49 innings against the Cardinals, only allowed six earned runs, and two home runs. By the time the game ended, he added three more home runs, and four more runs.
The first home run, a solo shot by Matt Carpenter, was the 15th pinch-hit home run of the year for St. Louis, a new Major League record. Following a Yadier Molina double, Randal Grichuk hit his 22nd home run of the year to make it an 8-6 game. Jhonny Peralta finished off the rally by notching his seventh home run to make it a 9-6 Cardinals lead.
“We’ve got a team that I think the best way to describe it is a dangerous team,” Carpenter said. “We’ve got a team that I don’t think anybody wants to match up with, especially in a postseason scenario. It’s a fun team to play on. We never quit, and tonight was a good example of it.”
But they almost blew the entire game before the rally began.
Molina hit a grand slam in the first inning, and eventually the Cardinals were able to jump out to a 5-0 lead. But after scoring a run in the third and fourth innings off of rookie starter Luke Weaver, Pittsburgh rallied right back with a four-run fifth inning to take the 6-5 lead.
Rookie pitcher Mike Mayers (1-1) earned his first career win with the Cardinals.
Tomorrow, Mike Leake will return to the rotation and get the start for St. Louis, while Jameson Taillon will start for Pittsburgh.