(BaseballStL) — The ninth began with a single from Craig and escalated with a walk to Molina, but back-to-back strikeouts from Jon Jay and pinch-hitter Matt Adams cut the gas line on the last-minute rally.
Daniel Descalso stepped in, and worked a 2-0 count, but ultimately fell victim to the strikeout.
The 7-4 loss gave the Yankees the series, and put the Cardinals at 29-24.
After a brief detour in the seventh for a scoreless frame, the run-mobile shifted back into gear in the eighth.
Randy Choate deftly escaped an inherited bases-loaded, no-out trap to keep the game within four, and the Cardinals shaved another number off the gap.
Matt Carpenter ripped a two-out double to left, and Kolten Wong sent his fourth hit up the middle to score him with two strikes. Much like before, however, the rally would end at a solitary run when Matt Holliday struck out.
The Cardinals continued their steady, one-at-a-time pace in the sixth, clawing to within one swing of the bat.
After Descalso singled with one out, pinch-hitter Jhonny Peralta reached on a fielder's choice to second. Matt Carpenter shook off a rough night to double to the wall in center, scoring Peralta and extending his hitting streak to 10 games.
Kolten Wong blasted replacement pitcher Matt Thorton with a liner, and reached first on the ricochet. With runners at the corners and the Cardinals again threatening, Matt Holliday put a ball in the gap to left center.
It hung in the air just a little too long, giving Brett Gardner time to get under it and end the rally.
Kolten Wong led off the fifth with a double, but would be the only run of the inning when Matt Holliday and Allen Craig both grounded out to second.
Wong moved station to station, cutting the lead to 7-2, but Yadier Molina was stranded on first when Jon Jay flew out to center to close out the frame.
St. Louis cracked the goose egg following the second Yankee outburst, plating a run in the bottom of the fourth.
Jon Jay beat out a throw from New York shortstop Brendan Ryan, then moved up a station on Peter Bourjos's grounder to third.
Daniel Descalso piced up his third RBI with a single, and moved to second on Miller's sacrifice bunt, but MAtt Carpenter picked up his second strikeout of the evening to end the flare up.
The hit parade strolled through Busch Stadium in the fourth, as the Yankees poured on three more runs. After a leadoff single from Kelly Johnson, Miller got two quick outs before Brian Roberts doubled into center.
Ellsbury followed with a two-run single up the middle, stole second and scored when McCann pulled a ball into right.
With two outs, New York produced three more runs for Hiroki Kuroda, leading the Cardinals 7-0.
The Cardinals threatened again in the bottom half of the third frame when Kolten Wong sparked a two-out rally.
The speedy second baseman singled into left, then moved to second on a Holliday single. Allen Craig was hit by Yankee starter Kuroda to load the bases, but Molina popped out to first, letting New York off the hook.
After the Cardinals knocked on the door in the second, the Yankees broke it down in the third. After a one-out walk to leadoff man Brett Gardner, Brian Roberts and Jacoby Ellsbury produced back-to-back singles.
Gardner scored from second on Ellsbury's shot into right center to open the scoring, and the latter moved to second on a steal.
Four straight balls put Brian McCann on first for a possible double play, but John Murphy- taking up residence behind the plate for Wednesday's finale- roped a two-run single to right center. With Roberts and Ellsbury across the plate and McCann on third, Ichiro Suzuki stepped in.
The aging outfieilder hit a ball to Kolten Wong, but beat out the double play, scoring McCann. Brendan Ryan ended the run with a groundout to short, but the Cardinals trailed 4-0 going into the third.
In another swift-moving contest, the Cardinals threatened early, but the Yankees escaped trouble in the second.
After Jacoby Ellsbury raced down a liner from Allen Craig to start the inning, Current All Star vote silver-medalist Yadier Molina smoked a shot down the left field line for a ground rule double.
Jon Jay followed up with a grounder to short, and Molina, halfway to third, leapt to get out of the ball’s path. Perhaps startled by the acrobatics, former Cardinal Brendan Ryan misplayed the ball, leaving runners on first and third.
Unfortunately Peter Bourjos’ hard ground ball to third caught Molina midway down the line, and the catcher was tagged out in a rundown. Daniel Descalso struck out to strand two, and New York was out of the jam.