On the brink of another disheartening loss to the Chicago Cubs, the playoff-hopeful St. Louis Cardinals flipped the script on Saturday.
Carlos Beltran hit a game-tying solo homer in the ninth inning and Jon Jay delivered a two-out, RBI double in the 10th to give the Cardinals a 5-4 win.
In Friday's series opener, the Cubs earned a 5-4 extra-inning victory courtesy of Darwin Barney's two-run homer in the ninth and David DeJesus' RBI single in the 11th.
Saturday's win moved the Cardinals 2 1/2 games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the hard-charging Milwaukee Brewers, who saw their six-game win streak come to an end with a 10-4 loss to the Washington Nationals earlier on Saturday.
As they did in the series opener, the Cardinals led early on Saturday, but the Cubs pieced together a three-run sixth inning, which was highlighted by DeJesus' leadoff homer, to take a 4-3 lead.
But Beltran's one-out blast off Carlos Marmol in the ninth cleared the stands inside the right-field foul pole and Mitchell Boggs (4-1) stranded a pair in the bottom half to send the game into extras.
There, Matt Carpenter and pinch-hitter Bryan Anderson worked back-to-back two- out walks before Jay ripped a double down the right-field line off Jaye Chapman (0-1) to push across the go-ahead run.
Jason Motte struck out the side in the bottom of the 10th to record his 39th save of the season and lock up St. Louis' fifth win in six games.
"That was as good as they get," said St. Louis manager Mike Matheny.
Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright, who hasn't recorded a win since Aug. 26, allowed four runs on six hits over seven innings in a no-decision.
Travis Wood countered with a five-inning start and gave up three runs -- two earned -- on six hits.
Wood walked Pete Kozma in the second inning to push across the game's first run after St. Louis loaded the bases on singles by Allen Craig and Daniel Descalso and a walk to David Freese.
Beltran led off the third with a base hit and crossed the plate on Matt Holliday's double to right field. Craig then moved Holliday to third base with a groundout before Yadier Molina hit a sacrifice fly to right for a 3-0 lead.
Molina later injured his back while trying to avoid an inside pitch in the ninth inning. He was removed from the game with back spasms and will be further evaluated Sunday.
Wood helped himself in the third when he led off with a single and came around to score after a groundout, a deep fly, and a wild pitch.
After DeJesus' homer in the sixth, a single by Anthony Rizzo, a ground-rule double by Alfonso Soriano and an intentional walk loaded the bases with one down. Wellington Castro followed with a sac fly before Dave Sappelt lined a single to left field to push across the go-ahead run.
The Cardinals lead the season-series, 9-7 ... Wainwright is 5-0 in 13 games -- nine starts -- at Wrigley Field in his career ... Wood has started against the Cardinals three times this season and the Cubs have lost all three of those games ... Entering Saturday, Chicago was 52-2 this season when leading after eight innings.