The Cardinals, who had gone the longest by far of any major-league team without a game-ending home run, walked off with one for the second straight night Tuesday at Busch Stadium. Kolten Wong walloped a 420-foot homer off a full-count pitch with two out and nobody on in the bottom of the ninth to provide a 5-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Following Matt Adams’ lead of the night before when he hit a game-finishing two run homer, Wong — who had doubled in two runs earlier in the game — connected off Pirates reliever Ernesto Frieri. The last time the Cardinals had hit a walk-off home run in the regular season was on June 19, 2011, by Skip Schumaker — although Albert Pujols had won consecutive games against Chicago with game-ending home runs on June 4-5 of that year. And the Cardinals also had a very memorable one in the 2011 postseason, when David Freese connected in Game 6 of the World Series. But now, after a long regular-season drought, they suddenly have sprouted in that department. And, take a look at the suddenly very tight National League Central Division race. The Cardinals climbed to three games behind first-place Milwaukee, the closest they’ve been since May 31. Red-hot Cincinnati, which swept a doubleheader from the Chicago Cubs, is 3½ back and Pittsburgh remained 4½ behind Milwaukee while dipping to fourth place. The weekend schedule portends some excitement with the Cardinals at Milwaukee and Pittsburgh at Cincinnati, but there is unfinished business here with the Pirates the next two nights.
Cards beat Pirates 5-4
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Jul 9