For the Cardinals to achieve the 90 wins it might take to capture the National League Central Division title, they’ll have to get to 18 games over .500 by the end of the season. They are nowhere near that yet, but they did attain the plus-10 milepost for just the second time this season and first time in a month Monday night when they rallied after squandering another significant lead to overcome the Cincinnati Reds 6-5 in 10 innings at Busch Stadium.
Matt Holliday’s second hit of the night, after he had been nothing for 18, preceded Matt Adams’ third hit of the night with one out in the 10th. With runners at first and third and one out, Jhonny Peralta’s third hit of the night, a fly ball over left fielder Ryan Ludwick’s head, provided the winning run.

“We’ll take whatever we can get to get out of there,” said manager Mike Matheny. “Every win, we’re digging our heels in.”

Peralta surmised that Reds righthander Logan Ondrusek would try to jam him inside with a sinker to try to get him to hit into a double play, so he was very conscious of trying to get the ball to the outfield.

“I was trying to stay in the middle of the field,” Peralta said.

In the aftermath of Trevor Rosenthal walking three of four hitters he faced in the ninth inning on Sunday, Matheny rather adamantly had said that the young righthander still was his closer.

So it was that Rosenthal was brought in to close out Monday’s game. But Rosenthal didn’t.

After striking out pinch hitter Chris Heisey in the ninth, Rosenthal, clinging to a 5-4 lead, walked Billy Hamilton on a close full-count pitch. Hamilton stole his 46th base and catcher A.J. Pierzynski’s throw sailed into center field, sending Hamilton to third.

With the Cardinals’ infield in, Jay Bruce knocked in his fourth run of the night with a double past Adams at first, and the game went to extra innings.

Matheny, assessing Rosenthal’s inning, said, “Actually it was not that bad. We just walked the wrong guy. You put that guy on base and we’re in straight defense mode, trying to figure out how to limit the damage.

“Obviously, the ball getting through is not part of the plan. He ended up continuing to make good pitches and got out of it and gave us a chance to keep going.