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Cardinals 4, Pirates 3 (14 innings)

The SportsXchange

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Cardinals experienced something rare early Wednesday morning: a walk-off win.

Adron Chambers' one-out single in the bottom of the 14th inning scored Jon Jay from second base, and the Cardinals outlasted the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 at Busch Stadium.

Sam Freeman (1-0) pitched the 14th to earn his first major league win as St. Louis (68-50) pulled within two games of the Pirates in the National League Central. It was the fourth straight loss for Pittsburgh (70-48).

Jay singled off Jared Hughes (2-3) and stole second. Chambers lined a 2-2 pitch to shallow left, and Jay barely beat Starling Marte's strong, accurate throw home, sliding under the tag of Russell Martin.

It was just the Cardinals' second walk-off win of the year, as well as their second extra-inning victory.

Jay finished 4-for-6.

The game went to extra innings as the result of a stunning gaffe in the bottom of the ninth. After Marte dropped Daniel Descalso's fly ball for a two-base error with one out, closer Mark Melancon fanned Matt Carpenter.

Carlos Beltran walked, and Allen Craig cashed in the miscue with his 88th RBI of the year. Craig's single to right-center tied the game at 3.

Pittsburgh wasted little time jumping on St. Louis ace Adam Wainwright, as Andrew McCutchen cracked a two-run homer in the top of the first, his 17th of the year. Jordy Mercer followed in the second with a one-out solo shot to left, his fifth of the season, making it 3-0.

The Cardinals sliced the deficit to one with a sixth-inning rally. A run scored on David Freese's double-play grounder, and Jay drove in another with a single.

McCutchen, Mercer and Neil Walker each had two hits for Pittsburgh. Carpenter collected three hits for St. Louis, and Craig and Matt Holliday had two hits apiece.

Wainwright allowed three runs in seven innings before the Cardinals bullpen fired off seven scoreless innings.

Pittsburgh starter Charlie Morton threw six innings of two-run ball.

NOTES: The Cardinals called up INF Jermaine Curtis from Triple-A Memphis, a move designed to give them five position players on the bench. They sent down rookie RHP Michael Blazek. Curtis played in three games for the Cardinals earlier this year, going 0-for-2. ... Pittsburgh juggled its rotation for the last two games of this series, moving up LHP Francisco Liriano and RHP A.J. Burnett a day and moving rookie RHP Gerrit Cole back to start the opener of a weekend series against visiting Arizona. ... St. Louis will start rookie RHP Shelby Miller on Wednesday night against Liriano. Cardinals RHP Lance Lynn opposes Burnett in Thursday's series finale ... The Pirates scratched RF Jose Tabata (flu-like symptoms) 90 minutes before first pitch and inserted Andrew Lambo, who made his major league debut. Lambo went 0-for-3.
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