Too savvy to take the bait about his time in Boston and how unceremoniously it ended last month, Cardinals catcher A.J. Pierzynski stood at his locker Tuesday and said the “bottom line” reason he’s not on the other side of the field this week is there on his permanent record.

It stares back at him from the scoreboard or will from his baseball card.

He didn’t hit enough to remain with the Red Sox.

In July, Boston set him loose, and that’s how the catcher who didn’t produce enough to stay put has become a bat that has helped the Cardinals get going.

“Whatever it takes,” he said.

Facing his former team, Pierzynski got a two-strike single in the bottom of the eighth to spark the rally that broke a tie and delivered a 3-2 victory for the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Pierzynski’s single off Junichi Tazawa was followed by Oscar Taveras’ single and Jon Jay’s game-winning RBI single to snap the 2-2 tie.

For the second time in as many games, the Cardinals rallied against an opponent’s bullpen to upend a lead, and each time it has been the bottom half of the order, including Pierzynski, that has conjured the rally. Pierzynski had the game-tying hit Sunday against Milwaukee and the game-winning run Tuesday vs. Boston.

Because of a sore wrist, Jay had not taken a swing in six days before starting Tuesday and providing the pivotal two-out single. His base hit made a winner of Pat Neshek, who struck out the side in the eighth, and led to Trevor Rosenthal’s league-leading 35th save. It also signaled the recent pulse from the Cardinals late in games.

Before Sunday they had lost 47 of 52 games when they were tied or trailing after the seventh inning. They’ve won their last two despite being tied or trailing after seven.