Pittsburgh Pirates vs St. Louis Cardinals

Matt Holliday is mobbed by teammates after driving in the game winning run in the 12th inning. Bill Greenblatt, UPI

Matt Carpenter had four hits and scored the winning run in the 12th inning on a single to center by Matt Holliday as the Cardinals won their second extra-inning game over the NL Central leading Pittsburgh Pirates with a 6-5 win on Thursday afternoon. The Cardinals cut the Pirates lead to two while holding a six game lead over Arizona for one of the wild card spots.

Carpenter sparked the winning rally with a one-out walk. He went to third on Jon Jay’s single before Holliday grounded a single up the middle off Bryan Morris (5-6).  Carpenter, the Cardinals’ leadoff man, leads the National League with 48 multihit games and 40 doubles. He entered with league-leading averages of .366 at home and .367 in day games.  Holliday also had an RBI double and is batting .452 during a 12-game hitting streak.

Russell Martin and Clint Barmes homered for Pittsburgh, which blew a 4-0 lead.  After scoring four off a Lance Lynn, the Cardinals turned around and dropped a five-spot on Bucs’ starter A.J. Burnett with  a two-run single by Daniel Descalso and RBIs in consecutive at-bats from Carpenter, Jay and Holliday.