Baseball / Sports

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jason Motte works in 10th-inning action against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday, May 21, 2014, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. (Chris Lee/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT)

Cardinals survive Diamondbacks in 12 innings

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals ended a roller-coaster battle with an unearned run in the 12th inning, beating the Arizona Diamondbacks, 3-2, late Wednesday night at Busch Stadium.

The winning rally came after a sprawling catch in center field by Jon Jay saved a run in the top of the 12th. In the bottom half, the Cardinals' Matt Holliday drew a leadoff walk from Arizona reliever Trevor Cahill (1-6).

Matt Adams followed with an opposite-field double to left, with Holliday advancing to third. Cahill then intentionally walked Yadier Molina, filling the bases with none out.

Allen Craig came to the plate and on a 2-2 pitch, grounded to short. But after backhanding the ball, Arizona shortstop Chris Owings threw poorly to home. The throw skipped past catcher Miguel Montero and Holliday scored to give the Cardinals (25-21) their sixth win in seven games.

Seth Maness (2-2), the seventh Cardinals pitcher, got the win.

In the top of the 12th, the Diamondbacks had speedy Ender Inciarte circling the bases on a two-out shot to center by Gerardo Parra. But Jay, who tied the game 2-2 in the eighth with a pinch sacrifice fly, raced the warning track and made a reaching catch for the final out, preserving the score until the Cardinals came to the plate.

Lots of drama in 10th

Despite lots of dramatic in the 10th inning, the Cardinals and Arizona Diamondbacks headed to more extra frames Wednesday, tied 2-2 at Busch Stadium.

The game has featured a number of big moments, but a few of the biggest came in the 10th. After throwing out a Diamondbacks runner at the plate to end the top half of the frame, the Cardinals pushed for the winning run in the bottom of the 10th, hoping to end the see-saw affair.

The uprising began with a leadoff double by Matt Holliday, who contributed to a defensive play that saved a run in the Arizona half. Pitcher Evan Marshall intentionally walked Matt Adams before Yadier Molina dropped a sacrifice bunt to move the runners up.

The Diamondbacks pitched carefully to Allen Craig with a base open, and walked him to load the bases. Jon Jay already had delivered a pinch sacrifice fly in the eighth to tie the score 2-2. That came after Arizona's Gerardo Parra ripped a two-run homer in the top of the eighth, turning a 1-0 Cardinals lead into a 2-1 Arizona edge.

But this time, Jay could not deliver, striking out against Marshall. Daniel Descalso then ran the count to 3-2, but he tapped back to the mound to end the threat.

In the Arizona 10th, Randy Choate committed a throwing error after fielding speedy Ender Inciarte's tap. Choate's hurried throw caused Matt Adams to leap off the bag.

After Choate retired the Parra, the Cardinals called on Jason Motte. The righthander was appearing in a big-league game for the first time since October, 2012.

Motte got the second out on a fly ball, but slugging Paul Goldschmidt hammered a drive to the wall in left field. Holliday played the ball flawlessly off the wall and relayed to strong-armed Daniel Descalso.

With Inciarte running all the way, Descalso fired a strike to catcher Molina, who applied the tag for the third out of the inning.

Jay delivers

A sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Jon Jay tied the score 2-2 in the eighth as the Cardinals battled the Arizona Diamondbacks at Busch Stadium.

Gerardo Parra blasted a two-run homer off Carlos Martinez in top of the inning, giving the visitors a 2-1 lead, but the home team bounced right back.

Yadier Molina started the rally with a one-out double over Parra's head in right field. Allen Craig followed with a soft single to right, but Molina had to hold up to make sure the ball dropped in safely.

Jay then pinch-hit for Peter Bourjos and -- after a visit to the mound by the Arizona pitching coach -- Jay lifted Brad Ziegler's pitch to center field, allowing Molina to tag and score the tying run. Daniel Descalso flied out to end the inning.

Trevor Rosenthal came on to pitch a scoreless top of the ninth for the Cardinals.

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