Cardinals walk-off to beat Pirates in NL Central showdown

Jeff Curry

St. Louis pulls closer to the NL Central lead and stays ahead of the Reds for the first Wild Card spot thanks to a clutch 12th-inning single from Matt Holliday.

Matt Holliday hit a walk-off RBI single in the 12th inning Thursday, lifting the Cardinals to a 6-5 victory over the Pirates and pulling St. Louis back within two games of Pittsburgh in the NL Central.

These teams have seen a lot of each other recently; the Pirates took four of five games from the Cardinals in Pittsburgh two weeks before the Cardinals took two of three this series.

Matt Carpenter was 4-for-5 and scored the winning run. Kevin Siegrist (1-1) picked up the win for St. Lous after pitching one inning and striking out two. Bryan Morris (5-6) took the loss for the Pirates.

Neither starter was effective on Thursday. Lance Lynn allowed four runs in the top of the fifth inning to give the Pirates a 4-0 lead, but A.J. Burnett squandered that immediately. Burnett allowed five runs in the bottom of the inning and was pulled after recording one out in the fifth. The Cardinals led 5-4 until Russell Martin tied the score with a solo shot off of Trevor Rosenthal in the eighth.

The Cards still lead the Reds by a game for the first NL Wild Card spot. They are 6.5 games ahead of the Diamondacks for the second Wild Card.

The Pirates and Cardinals play each other just three times the rest of the regular season. The two teams will meet Aug. 29 to Sept. 1 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

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