(BaseballStL) — The Cardinals got to work early in the ninth, with Matt Holliday drawing a walk to begin the inning.
Matt Adams promptly moved him to third on a single to right, bringing up Jhonny Peralta in an exact repeat of Monday night.
No one was up in the Reds pen, and Hoover was left to try to fend off the game-winner.
Peter Bourjos pinch ran at third for Holliday before Peralta’s at bat, giving the Cardinals their best shot to tag and score.
Peralta would draw a walk to load the bases, leaving the walk-off duties in the hottest hands in the lineup.
The bat wouldn't come into play, however, as Jon Jay would wear the first pitch for a walk-off RBI.
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Jon Jay set the table once more in the eighth, drawing a one-out walk.
Oscar Taveras struck out, but pinch-hitter A.J. Pierzynski put a ball in the gap to put men at the corners.
For the second straight night, Daniel Descalso played hero, ripping a double down the line when he hit for Seth Maness.
It tied the game and put runners at second and third for the top of the order. On a 3-2 pitch, Matt Carpenter watched a ball slide outside and took his place on fist.
With the bases loaded, the Reds went o J.J. Hoover to face Kolten Wong.
The second baseman gave a ball a ride to the track in right center, but Billy Hamilton raced it down to close the inning with three left on base.
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Jhonny Peralta and Jon Jay knocked Alfredo Simon from the game in the sixth when the Cards cut into the lead.
With one out, Peralta blasted a homer just left of Big Mac Land in the left field upper deck, making it 17 home runs the season. The mark is a single-season record for Cardinal shortstops.
Jay continued to swing well, singling behind Peralta to push Simon from the game and bring in Sam LeCure to face Oscar Taveras. The right fielder singled into center, leaving two on for Tony Cruz.
Cruz would strike out, but Shane Robinson would pick up the slack. Pinch-hitting for Lackey, the outfielder shot a ball into center to score Jay.
The rally would end prematurely, however, when Taveras was caught trying to take third on the relay.
The inning closed with the Cards down 4-3.
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Poor defense bit St. Louis again in the sixth, when a soft fly ball into left field turned into two bases for Jay Bruce.
Matt Holliday came running in, but the ball bounced off his mitt in fair territory. Todd Frazier walked with one out (Hamilton led off the inning with a K), but the Cardinals still had a shot a double play.
Devin Mesoraco hid a grounder to third, but Carpenter misplayed it, with the ball skipping out of his glove. His throw to first was not in time, and the Lackey was suddenly facing a bases loaded jam.
Ryan Ludwick made it count, doubling home two runs on a shot into right field. Brandon Phillips hit a sharp grounder to third for the second out, and Jon Jay raced down a gap shot from Brayan Pena to save two more runs.
After two unearned runs, the Reds lead 4-1.
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The Cardinals threatened in the fifth, putting the tying run in scoring position.
John Lackey began things with his second hit of the night. He came in having just four hits in 47 career at bats, his most recent coming in 2011. He now has an average of .333 this season.
With one Out Matt Carpenter hit a ball in the hole, giving Zack Cozart trouble. He was able to flip to second to get the first out, but Carpenter stole the bag with Wong at the plate to keep a man in scoring position.
Wong took a called third, and Holliday flew out behind him to end the threat.
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Billy Hamilton again caused chaos on the bases, using his legs to harry the Cardinals.
After beating out an infield single, he went around to third when Lackey’s pickoff attempt sailed past Matt Adams.
It was the second time in two nights his speed has caused a Cardinal error.
With the infield in, Jay Bruce grounded sharply to Peralta for the first out. Hamilton would score one hitter later when Todd Frazier belted his 21st homer to straightaway center field.
The lead now erased, Lackey went to work getting a ground out and line drive to Carpenter to close the frame.
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Building off their one hit in the second, the Cardinals picked up three in the third.
With one out, Lackey and Matt Carpenter hit back-to-back singles into right. The outburst put a man in scoring position for the first time and set the stage for a Cardinal run.
Kolten Wong flew out to left, leaving it up to Matt Holliday who struck out his first time at the plate.
With two strikes, the left fielder punched a ball up the middle to score Lackey. Carpenter went to third and Holliday took second on the throw, creating two potential RBIs on base for Matt Adams.
The Reds chose not to face Big City, intentionally walking him to get to Jhonny Peralta. On a 3-2 count, the shortstop popped up to center with the bases loaded to end the inning.
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Lackey cruised through nine outs, not putting a single Cincinnati hitter on base. He finished three innings on just 33 pitches, striking out five and not allowing an out past the infield.
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Jon Jay picked up the game’s first hit, extending his streak to 11 games. It came with two outs in the second, giving the Cardinals their first foothold against Simon.
Oscar Taveras would end the inning with a grounder to short.
Lackey continued to roll through the second, striking out two more Reds en route to a perfect six outs.
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John Lackey and Alfredo Simon tossed clean first innings, combining for three strikeouts in the first six batters.
The only real action was off the bat of Kolten Wong, when the second baseman drove a ball to the wall. It was tracked down by Ryan Ludwick and Matt Holliday lost a seven-pitch battle, striking out to end the inning.