Timely hits, not home runs, rescue Cards

Timely hits, not home runs, rescue Cards

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals had already manufactured several come-from-behind wins this season, earning more than half of their season victories in such fashion, in fact. And so it wasn't necessarily that the Cardinals added another to the list with a 5-4 victory over the Phillies as much as it was how they did so that seemed so notable.

An offense that has been surprisingly reliant on the long ball through the season's first month got back to its old ways on Wednesday by stringing together hits and coming up with timely ones when runners were in scoring position. A three-run fifth inning changed the look of a game the Phillies had once led by four, before a pair of ninth-inning runs set off the team's first walk-off celebration of the season.

"You never want to be down four runs, but you only have one choice and that's to battle and to try to score and to keep battling and that's what we did," said Matt Holliday, who delivered the game-winning single for his eighth career walk-off RBI. "It's never great to be down, but we'll keep fighting."

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for Holliday and other #ASGWorthy players

The Cardinals did their chipping away against a Phillies pitching staff that had been so stingy lately that the club had won seven of its previous eight games without scoring more than four runs in any of them. The only other time the Cardinals had climbed out of a four-run hole this season was when they did so behind four late-inning homers in Atlanta. In total, the Cardinals entered the night having scored 46 percent of their season runs via home runs.

This time, all four run-scoring hits were singles.

"Just some good at-bats put together," manager Mike Matheny said. "It was just one of those days where they refused to go down without swinging. Great fight."

Both run-scoring innings started with the seventh spot in the lineup. It was Ruben Tejada, first, who used a favorable replay review to secure a fifth-inning leadoff double. A walk and pinch-hit single by Brandon Moss turned the lineup where leadoff hitter du jour, Aledmys Diaz, could drive in two with an infield single. Stephen Piscotty's RBI single capped the three-run frame.

Piscotty's RBI single

Continued success off the bench sparked the ninth-inning rally, too. Kolten Wong pinch-hit for Tejada and drew a seven-pitch walk to spark some life against closer Jeanmar Gomez, who had been 9-for-9 in save opportunities this season. Matt Adams missed a walk-off homer by inches but settled for a pinch-hit double, the 21st hit by a Cardinals pinch-hitter this year.

Piscotty worked another extended at-bat against Gomez before driving home the tying run with another infield single. A game that could have turned on almost-homers by Jedd Gyorko in the eighth and Adams in the ninth instead ended on another ground ball finding a hole.

"I think it was a great example of the fight in this team to not let a 4-0 lead get us down," Piscotty said. "We fired right back. That's a big win, a confidence booster. We're going to hopefully keep that momentum going."

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.