Wainwright pitches in with bat in victory

Righty's pinch-hit, go-ahead double sparks Cards' big inning

Wainwright pitches in with bat in victory

PITTSBURGH -- The Cardinals turned to pitcher Adam Wainwright in the 12th inning in a pinch-hit situation, and he delievered big time, helping the Cardinals to a 9-3 victory over the Pirates on Friday night at PNC Park.

Wainright smacked a two-run double off reliever Juan Nicasio, sparking a six-run Cardinal uprising.

Cardinals plate six in the 12th

"I've been getting some hits this year, so I'm the guy right now," Wainwright said. "The last few years, I've been kind of skipped over in that spot. I took it upon myself to get that spot back. I've been swinging well, and the coaches have helped me a ton, the hitters have helped me a ton. I'm like a kid in a candy store right now. I'm the happiest I could ever be right now."

Travis Wood was the last pitcher to deliver a go-ahead RBI in extras, with his bases-loaded walk against Milwaukee on May 18. Before that, the last pitcher who delivered an extra-innings, go-ahead hit was Florida's (now Miami) Burke Badenhop on May 16, 2011. It was an RBI single that gave the Marlins a 2-1 lead vs. the Mets in the top 11th.

Wainwright, following the big hit, is batting .261 with four doubles, one triple and one home run on the season.

"He demanded that I say he's the best hitter in all baseball or something along those lines, and just for the record, I said it and now we're done," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny joked. "Man, are we going to have to hear about it for a while, but it is way worth it. That was a thing of beauty."

George Von Benko is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.