Game Log: Wong does it with walk off homer as Cards best Bucs 5- -

Game Log: Wong does it with walk off homer as Cards best Bucs 5-4

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Busch Stadium By Bryce Moore Busch Stadium By Bryce Moore
By John Bailey By John Bailey

(BaseballStL) — The first two St. Louis hitters went down without a fuss in the final three outs of regulation. 

Jhonny Peralta grounded softly to short, and Oscar Taveras went down on a questionable third strike call from umpire Joe West. 

Kolten Wong changed everything with one swing, when he worked a full count before crushing a walk off homer to put the Cardinals ahead 5-4 for the win. 

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Three scoreless innings followed as the bullpens from both sides maneuvered through the next 18 outs successfully. 

In the top of the ninth, Trevor Rosenthal came in to hold the tie. 

As has been customary of late, the hard-throwing righty ran into a spot of trouble with one out. When Jody Mercer followed a ground out with a single, it marked 11 straight games in which a runner has reached base against Rosenthal. 

When Josh Harrison walked, it was the closer's 10th game in the last 16 with at least one free pass. 

He escaped the jam, getting Gregory Planco to fly out to shallow center before striking out Starling Marte. It was Marte's third K of the game. 

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The Birds broke out the bats in the bottom half of the fifth, when they rattled off three straight one-out hits. 

Folloing Martinez's strikeout, Matt Carpenter and Jon Jay both notched singles before Matt Holliday doubled both men home with a shot into left center. 

His 42nd and 43rd RBIs tied the game, and Holliday then moved to third on Matt Adams' grounder to second. 

Molina got ahead 3-0 before flying out softly to right, but the Cards had tied the game for Martinez heading into his sixth inning of work.

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Carlos Martinez was nipped again in the fifth inning, but a trememndous play from All Star catcher Yadier Molina kept things from spiraling.

Gregory Polanco picked up his third single of the night before Staling Marte K-ed for the second at bat in a row for the first out, bringing up former MVP Andrew McCutchen.

After failing to come through in his previous six at bats, the Pittsburgh center fielder struck hard. McCutchen belted his 14th homer to left field, sailing a ball into the bull pen to give the Pirates a 4-2 lead. 

Neil Walker followed that up with a triple, but was picked off third base when he strayed too far down the line and Molina caught him napping. 

Martinez responded by striking out Martin, ending the threat and containing the damage to just two runs. 

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In a sight all too familiar to Cardinal fans, Pedro Alvarez hammered a homer in the fourth inning to tie the game. 

After Ike Davis drew a one-out walk, Alvarez turned on an 0-2 curveball and hit it more than 400 feet to right center. 

It was his 14th homer of the year, 100th of his career, and the first allowed by Carlos Martinez as a starter. 

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The Pittsburgh offense picked up where it left off, leaving two men on in two innings, one of them at third. 

When Pirates prospect Gregory Polanco reached on a single in the first and stole second, the Bucs couldn’t get him home against Carlos Martinez. 

Russell Martin began the second inning with a single, but three straight ground outs ended that threat. 

The Cardinals however, didn’t wait until the ninth to get things going. In the bottom of the second, Jhonny Peralta notched a two-out single to right, and moved around to third when Oscar Taveras did the same. 

Kolten Wong opened things up when he crushed a double to the wall in right center to score both runners, giving the Cards a 2-0 lead before Martinez grounded out sharply to end the frame

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