Michael Wacha made his second start since returning from a shoulder problem since mid-June and gave up six hits, six runs and three walks. The Cardinals lost 9-5, but benefit from losses by Pittsburgh and Milwaukee.
Devin Mesoraco homered and drove in three runs for Cincinnati, and Mike Leake pitched into the seventh inning and doubled home a run. Mesoraco also doubled a run home in the fifth as Cincinnati scored four times, sending Wacha to the bench.
As usual, the Cardinals made it interesting. Down 7-1, the Cardinals sent nine batters in the seventh. Tony Cruz and Jon Jay had RBI singles, and Jhonny Peralta walked with the bases loaded, cutting it to 7-4.
In the ninth, Aroldis Chapman came in with two on and two outs got Mark Ellis on a 101 mph fastball to end it for his 31st save.
Wacha continues to try to find his way back. He threw 70 pitches on Tuesday, 44 for strikes.