Pittsburgh (AP) — A flip to second base gone awry threatened to sap the St. Louis Cardinals of the momentum that has carried them from the doldrums of August to the middle of the playoff race in September.
Randal Grichuk scored after an error by Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer, capping a frantic ninth-rally that lifted surging St. Louis over Pittsburgh 4-3 on Friday night.
St. Louis began a three-game set in Pittsburgh just 1½ games behind Colorado for the second wild-card spot in the National League after taking three straight against Cincinnati, a resounding bounce back after getting swept last weekend by the Chicago Cubs.
The Pirates took a 3-2 lead in the seventh when Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong flipped a potential double-play grounder high over the head of second baseman Kolten Wong and into right field, allowing Max Moroff to score from second.
St. Louis manager Mike Matheny called the misplaced lob “a blip.” DeJong admitted he exhaled while watching his teammates claw back in the ninth.
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