Cards flip comeback script with small-ball rally

Cards flip comeback script with small-ball rally

ST. LOUIS -- The outcome rang familiar, as the Cardinals once again flipped the game in their favor with a midgame, four-run inning against the Giants. But while Saturday's comeback was ignited by the long ball, Sunday's 6-3 victory featured a much more methodical approach.

Following leadoff doubles by Matt Carpenter and Aledmys Diaz that closed the deficit to within one, the Cardinals watched their next five sixth-inning batters forward the rally without putting a ball out of the infield. By the end of it, St. Louis enjoyed a two-run lead.

"This offense is very capable of doing a lot of things," said Carpenter, who is 15-for-35 with 10 runs scored in his last eight games. "We can score a bunch of runs. We can do it in a lot of different ways. I think you've seen that in the last few days."

Carpenter's RBI single

A walk and a hit batsman filled the bases for Matt Adams, who had already extended his on-base streak to 17 games in his first plate appearance. This time, with lefty reliever Javier Lopez brought in solely to face him, Adams hit a screamer toward first baseman Brandon Belt, who watched it carom off his glove as the tying run scored.

For Adams, who entered the year a career .197 hitter against lefties, it represented his seventh hit in 21 at-bats against southpaws this season. He had been 0-for-2 previously against Lopez.

Yadier Molina, mired in a 1-for-37 slump, then made contact on an 0-2 pitch to push home the go-ahead run. Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford couldn't glove the hard grounder cleanly, which foiled any chance he had at a double play. Greg Garcia followed with a productive groundout to cap the scoring.

"Guys making it happen in big situations," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "I think it's that expectation that they have that they're going to put a push on at some point during the game. They really put together some nice at-bats."

Molina gives Cards the lead

It was the Cardinals' 14th come-from-behind victory this season, though so many before them had been propelled with home runs. The Cardinals entered Sunday with 42 percent of their scoring being generated by the long ball and having gone deep in 12 of their last 14 games.

Sunday's victory became the sixth of the Cardinals' season in a game where they didn't register at least one home run.

"We played a good game today, and we got some big hits that inning, and I'm just happy for that," Molina said. "Every time you take a series against a good club like the Giants, it's good. It's a start."

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