The Grand Slam: Cardinals win on walk-off homer for second straight game

Mike Oz
July 9, 2014
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Kolten Wong watched teammate Matt Adams celebrate a walk-off home run on Monday night, and Tuesday he duplicated the feat as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates in dramatic fashion for the second straight night.

Wong's blast to right field gave the Cards a 5-4 win and pulled them within three games of first place in the NL Central. It also made Wong an unlikely hero, as he hit just his third homer of the season.

"I'm definitely not the kind of guy to hit a home run,'' Wong said. ''Usually, I'm always that guy they're getting ready to jump on someone coming home. For me to be switches places with someone, that was awesome.''

Awesome, sure, but Wong — a 5-foot-9 rookie who's 23 — also admitted he was a bit uneasy being at the center of the celebration.

''It was a little scary, I saw those big guys and I didn't know if I was going to get beat-up or what,'' Wong said. ''It was awesome, seeing those guys and how excited they were. This is a huge win for us.''

It was, because the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers lost to the Philadelphia Phillies, their third straight loss and their seventh loss in eight games.

Kolten Wong, you weren't the only NL Central rookie walking off. Billy Hamilton of the Cincinnati Reds did too, only his ball didn't fly over the fence. He looped a broken-bat single down the left-field line.

Hamilton's single gave the Reds a 6-5 win, completing a five-run comeback. The Reds were down 5-0 in the third inning but scored a run each in the fifth and sixth innings, two in the seventh, another in the eighth and then the game-winner in the ninth. The Reds are now 3 1/2 games behind the Brewers in the NL Central and half a game behind the Cards.

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People were already eulogizing Detroit Tigers starter Justin Verlander after he gave up five runs in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers, but the Tigers scored five runs of their own in the second inning. And as it turned out, that was just the start. The Tigers put up 14 unanswered runs en route to a 14-5 win.

Verlander, who has struggled lately, only gave up a lone hit after the first inning disaster. He lasted six innings and earned his eighth win of the season. The middle of the Tigers lineup was on fire — Miguel Cabrera, J.D. Martinez, Torii Hunter and Nick Castellanos each had three hits. 

(Getty Images)
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(Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks almost had a pristine debut from newly acquired starting pitcher Vidal Nuno, their return in the Brandon McCarthy trade. Nuno pitched seven scoreless innings against the Miami Marlins, allowing just three hits and striking out seven.

In most cases, that would be good enough for a win, but the D-backs could only muster one run to support Nuno. In the ninth, as the D-backs clung to that 1-0 lead with closer Addison Reed on the mound, the Marlins got a two-run homer from Marcell Ozuna to capture a 2-1 win. Welcome to the D-backs, Mr. Nuno.

For the rest of Tuesday's results, check out our scoreboard.

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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!