Matt Holliday's RBI single in the bottom of the 12th lifted the St. Louis Cardinals over the Pittsburgh Pirates, 6-5, in the rubber match of a three-game series.
Bryan Morris (5-6), who pitched a scoreless 11th, stayed on to pitch the 12th for the Pirates. With one out, Matt Carpenter walked and Jon Jay singled to put runners on the corners. Holliday followed with the game-winning hit to center.
Carpenter finished 4-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored for the Cardinals, who moved within two games of Pittsburgh for first place in the NL Central. Holliday and Daniel Descalso each knocked in two runs.
"Every team is going to face adversity and have the ups and downs," said Holliday. "We play the Pirates a lot in the last few weeks so winning these games is going to be important for us."
St. Louis starter Lance Lynn allowed four runs on eight hits while striking out six over 5 1/3 innings. Kevin Siegrist (1-1) got the win after pitching a scoreless top of the 12th.
Russell Martin and Clint Barmes homered for the Pirates, who have lost five of six. Andrew Lambo and Neil Walker added an RBI apiece.
A.J. Burnett got the start for Pittsburgh and gave up five runs on eight hits over 4 1/3 innings.
"They're aggressive at times and they're passive at times," Burnett said. "It's on me tonight."
After four scoreless innings, the teams combined for nine runs in the fifth. Garrett Jones started the top half with a single and raced home on Lambo's double to right-center field. Barmes followed with a two-run homer to left. The scoring continued when Starling Marte tripled to right-center field and crossed the plate on Walker's sacrifice fly.
St. Louis responded with five runs in the bottom half. Matt Adams singled and David Freese doubled to get things going. Descalso followed with a two-run single to center. Carpenter's triple to right plated Descalso. Jay added an RBI single to right and scored himself on Holliday's double to left-center field on a ball which sailed past a diving Andrew McCutchen.
The Pirates were close to tying the game in the seventh. Pinch-hitter Josh Harrison doubled to right-center field and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. Harrison got caught in a rundown between third and home when Walker hit a grounder to first.
Pittsburgh did manage to tie the contest in the eighth when Martin homered off Trevor Rosenthal.
Pittsburgh fell to 8-5 against St. Louis this season ... Lambo's double in the fifth was his first hit in the big leagues ... Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina went 0-for-5 in his return to the lineup. Molina and outfielder Shane Robinson were activated from the 15-day disabled list prior to Thursday's game. The Cardinals also placed catcher Tony Cruz on the 15-day disabled list and optioned infielder Jermaine Curtis to Triple-A Memphis ... Marte is the first Pirate since Jack Wilson in 2004 to have at least 10 doubles, 10 triples and 10 HR in a season.