ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 21: Starter Michael Wacha #52 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Busch Stadium on May 21, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) By Dilip Vishwanat
ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 21: Starter Brandon McCarthy #32 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on May 21, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) By Dilip Vishwanat
ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 21: Reliever Jason Motte #30 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the ninth inning at Busch Stadium on May 21, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) By Dilip Vishwanat
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Arizona shortstop Chris Owings threw wildly to the plate on a bases-loaded grounder in the 12th inning, allowing Matt Holliday to score the winning run in the St. Louis Cardinals' 3-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night.
The Cardinals cut down the go-ahead run at the plate in the 10th on Daniel Descalso's perfect relay throw from down the left field line to nail Ender Inciarte trying to score from first on Paul Goldschmidt's two-out double.
Holliday walked off Trevor Cahill (1-6) to start the 12th. Matt Adams doubled and Yadier Molina was walked intentionally. Allen Craig hit a grounder and Owings had plenty of time for a force play of the plate but his throw eluded catcher Miguel Montero.
Seth Maness (2-2) allowed a hit in the 12th for the Cardinals, who persevered long after Michael Wacha was chased early by a foul ball lined off his pitching elbow while sitting in the dugout.
Jason Motte worked 1 2-3 scoreless innings in his first appearance since the 2012 postseason. He got help from Holliday, Descalso and Molina on that nifty relay.
The Cardinals left the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th against rookie Evan Marshall, but couldn't push across the winning run.
Wacha allowed two hits in six scoreless innings and made two outstanding defensive plays before Adams' liner forced an early exit after 88 pitches. The team said Wacha, the NLCS MVP last fall, had a bruise and was removed for precautionary reasons.
Gerardo Parra's two-run homer off Carlos Martinez put the Diamondbacks up 2-1 in the eighth, their first runs in 17 innings in the series after Adam Wainwright's one-hitter Tuesday. Pinch-hitter Jon Jay's sacrifice fly off Brad Ziegler tied it in the bottom half.
Wacha snared Martin Prado's liner right back at him on instincts, throwing his glove up on the follow-through. He foiled a squeeze attempt by Arizona starter Brandon McCarthy later in the fifth, gloving the bunt in front of the plate and shoveling the ball to Molina at the plate in time to catch Cody Ross.
The Diamondbacks unsuccessfully challenged, lobbying for an obstruction call at the plate.
Martinez gave up the go-ahead run on a wild pitch in a loss to Atlanta on Sunday and has surrendered seven runs in 7 2-3 innings his last nine outings. Ziegler was scored upon for just the second time in his last 23 appearances.
The Cardinals won a challenge and perhaps saved a run in the second when Montero was ruled out attempting to steal with one out. The next batter, Prado, singled.
Molina had two hits, giving him 14 the first eight games of a nine-game home stand.
NOTES: Rock `n roll Hall of Famer Chuck Berry, 87 and a St. Louis resident, threw out the first pitch. ... Lance Lynn (5-2, 3.67) faces Wade Miley (3-4, 4.94) to end a nine-game home stand. Lynn is 2-0 with a 2.37 ERA against Arizona and 20-8 lifetime at home. Miley is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in five road starts this year. ... Opponents are 8 for 19 attempting to steal against Molina. ... In Wacha's 10 starts, he's allowed two or fewer runs six times. ... Cardinals SS Jhonny Peralta, 1 for 21 against McCarthy, did not start. ... Arizona 2B Aaron Hill returned after missing three games with shoulder soreness and was 0 for 5.