Solo shot in 14th inning gives Cards third straight extra-inning walk-off win
By Joe Harris
Special to MLB.com |
ST. LOUIS -- Kolten Wong may have experienced a little déjà vu while rounding the bases in the bottom of the 14th against the Pirates on Sunday.
Wong's second home run of the season, a 421-foot blast deep into the right-field bleachers over the bullpen, gave the Cardinals their third consecutive walk-off win against the Pirates -- the latest by a 3-2 score. It was Wong's second career walk-off homer in the regular season, and both have come against the Bucs.
"I was sitting there waiting for something I knew I could drive," Wong said. "I wasn't trying to bloop something in, I was trying to drive something and either score myself or get in scoring position."
The homer capped a 3-for-4 day for Wong, who came off the bench for Matt Carpenter after he left the game with dizziness.
"Driving the ball, almost got it in the gap the previous at-bat, he's an exciting, impressive kid," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "We just want to keep working with him to the point where he's getting that consistency. But he can do some pretty impressive things."
Wong's blast ended another back-and-forth contest between two of the Central Division's frontrunners.
Carpenter's home run in the fourth gave the Cardinals a 1-0 lead and ended a streak of 95 consecutive innings without a home run given up by Pirates pitchers.
Jung Ho Kang took the first pitch he saw from Trevor Rosenthal in the ninth over the left-center-field wall for his first career home run to tie it, and veteran Cardinal killer Pedro Alvarez gave the Bucs the lead with a home run into the right-field bullpen in the 12th.
The Cardinals prolonged the game with a bases-loaded single by Peter Bourjos to tie it in the bottom of the 12th. Bourjos would have gotten the game-winner on the single, but a diving play by Josh Harrison kept the ball in the infield.
"That at-bat may have been overlooked, because it didn't get past third base, but he got into a tough spot, and he gets a 3-2 slider, which is one he swung through a couple of times, and Harrison makes a great play to save that game from being over," Matheny said. "Just an incredible at-bat from Peter Bourjos right there."
It is the first time the Cardinals had three extra-inning walk-off wins in a row since winning four consecutive July 7-10, 1987 (two against the Dodgers and two against the Giants).
It also prolongs a walk-off trend against the Pirates. Since the start of the 2013 season, the Cardinals have had 15 walk-off wins, with eight of those coming at the expense of the Bucs.
"Any time you can get a walk-off home run, it's special, but to do it in the fashion that we did three in a row, it's something big for us, especially against a team like the Pirates," Wong said.
Joe Harris is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.