ST. LOUIS — There were more late-inning theatrics for the Cardinals on Tuesday, as they scored once in the eighth to tie and once in the ninth to win, beating the floundering Cincinnati Reds 5-4 at Busch Stadium.
Matt Holliday led off the ninth with a walk and went to third on a single to right by Matt Adams. Peter Bourjos pinch ran for Holliday and, after Jhonny Peralta walked to load the bases, Jon Jay was hit by a pitch on the foot to drive in the winning run.
Pat Neshek, who pitched the ninth with the game tied, improved to 6-0. The Cardinals kept pace with the Brewers, who beat Toronto, 6-1.
On Monday, the Cardinals scored a run in the seventh to tie, a run in the eighth to take the lead and then, after giving up a run in the ninth to send it to extra innings, won it in the 10th.
On Tuesday, they scored twice in the sixth and once in the eighth to get even after falling behind 4-1 in the top of the sixth.
With one out in the eighth, Jay drew a walk from Reds reliever Jumbo Diaz — who blew a save on Monday — and was still on first after Oscar Taveras struck out. A.J. Pierzynski pinch hit for Tony Cruz and singled to left, with Ryan Ludwick doing an excellent job of keeping the ball from getting to the wall and holding Jay at third. Up next was Daniel Descalso, pinch hitting for pitcher Seth Maness, and he doubled to left field, scoring Jay and sending Pierzynski to third. Matt Carpenter walked and the Reds took out Diaz for J.J. Hoover. He faced Kolten Wong, who hit a fly ball that Billy Hamilton caught on the warning track in center.
Cardinals starter John Lackey allowed just four hits in six innings and struck out seven, but one of those hits was a two-run center and two errors led to two runs in the sixth.
Matt Holliday and Carpenter each couldn’t make plays in the sixth, with Holliday dropping a fly ball after a long run for a two-base error, and then Carpenter not handling a hard-hit grounder by Devin Mesoraco that loaded the bases with one out. Ludwick followed with a two-run double that extended the Reds’ lead to 4-1.
The Cardinals got those two runs back in the bottom of the inning but let a chance for more slip away. Peralta hit his 17th home run of the season, setting the Cardinals record for homers in a season by a shortstop, and Jay followed with a single to chase Reds starter Alfredo Simon. Taveras singled Jay to second and after Cruz struck out, pinch hitter Shane Robinson drove in Jay, but Taveras was thrown out going to third to end the inning.
The Cardinals scored in the second on a series that began with Lackey’s first hit of the season in five at-bats. He eventually scored on a single by Holliday. The Cardinals loaded the bases with two out, but Peralta flew out to end the inning.
The Reds went ahead in the fourth on a two-run homer by Todd Frazier to center field. Lackey had retired the first nine hitters he faced before Hamilton singled to start the fourth.