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Carpenter’s Pinch Home Run & Walk-Off Wild Pitch Lead to Cardinals Win in Finale

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Less than two weeks removed from whiffing 10 Cardinals in his complete-game two-hitter, Phillies starter Aaron Nola was looking for round two on Thursday afternoon, opposite of Kwang Hyun Kim in St. Louis.

After zeroes through the first two frames, the Phillies broke the scoreless tie in the top of the third with an RBI double from JT Realmuto. Nola and the Phillies held their 1-0 lead until the bottom of the fifth. With a base hit from Andrew Knizner and a two-out walk to eighth-place hitter Edmundo Sosa, the Cardinals opted to go to the bench, rather than let Kim bat in the team’s first real scoring opportunity. Manager Mike Shildt turned to pinch-hitter Matt Carpenter, who was probably one of the happiest guys in all of St. Louis after the outcome of his at-bat:

Carpenter’s homer, his first hit in his last 11 plate appearances, gave the Cardinals a 3-1 lead. Kim finished the day with a line of five innings and one run allowed on seven hits and four strikeouts.

After Jordan Hicks put up a scoreless sixth inning, the Phillies scored two runs — both charged to Andrew Miller. Nick Maton led off the inning with a double and was later doubled in by Andrew McCutcheon. Giovanny Gallegos came in to relieve Miller and surrendered a run-scoring hit to Alec Bohm. And so, the game was tied at 3-3.

The Phillies and Cardinals were both quiet in the seventh and eighth innings, and Philadelphia didn’t have anything to speak of in the ninth, either. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Phillles closer Hector Neris hit Nolan Arenado — much to the displeasure of Shildt, who was soon ejected by home-plate umpire Brennan Miller.

Alex Reyes, after a scoreless ninth, came out for the tenth inning. Matt Joyce started the tenth as the Phillies’ runner on second base. After a strikeout from Bohm, Rhys Hoskins flew out to deep center field, and the ball was caught by Dylan Carlson. Joyce tagged and attempted to advance to third, but Carlson threw a strike to Arenado at third, and the Cardinals got out of the tenth inning with a double play.

In the bottom of the tenth, Tyler O’Neill started at second base for St. Louis. Knizner grounded out, advanced O’Neill to third, and Phillies reliever intentionally walked Justin Williams. With runners on the corners and one out, Hale, on a 1-2 count to Edmundo Sosa, threw a ball into the dirt for a wild pitch allowing O’Neill to trot down the line and score the Cardinals’ fourth and final run of the afternoon. St. Louis got the 4-3 win in extra innings and split the four-game series with the Phillies. For Alex Reyes, it was his first win of the season.

The Cardinals will travel east, to Pittsburgh, where the Pirates are waiting to play a three-game series this weekend. John Gant will start the series opener on Friday evening.