PITTSBURGH (AP) — Adam Wainwright has 121 wins in his 12-year career along with two World Series rings and two second-place finishes in the NL Cy Young Award balloting.
However, the St. Louis Cardinals pitcher won’t have many more memorable moments than he had Friday night.
Pinch-hitting because the Cardinals were out of positon players, Wainwright hit a two-run, two-out double to spark a six-run 12th inning as St. Louis beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-3 on Friday night.
“Other than winning the World Series, this ranks right up there,” Wainwright said. “The Pirates are a tough team to beat, especially in this ballpark and I’m like a kid in the candy store any time I get to hit.
“This was really special, though, because the game was on the line. If you’re a competitor, you want to be in that situation, even if you’re a pitcher who’s never had a hit in his career.”
Wainwright batted for reliever Jonathan Broxton after Matt Carpenter drew a two-out walk from Juan Nicasio and Pirates manager Clint Hurdle decided to intentionally walk Alemdys Diaz to bring up Broxton’s spot in the order.
Wainwright followed with a drive to the gap in left-center to score both runners. He is hitting .261 this season, going 6 for 23 with four doubles, one triple and one home run.
“It’s the move you have to make in that situation,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of walking Diaz, a rookie hitting .317.
The Cardinals added four more runs in the inning. Matt Adams hit an RBI double to extend his hitting streak to 10 games and scored on Jhonny Peralta’s single before Brandon Moss’ two-run homer, his 14th, capped the outburst.
“I really struggled with giving Diaz an opportunity when you figure Wainwright would be next,” Hurdle said. “You make those decisions, and we weren’t able to get him out, and it snowballed on us after that.”
Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole left in the third inning with right triceps tightness. Catcher Francisco Cervelli left in the next inning with a sore left hand.
Broxton (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings as the Cardinals (33-28) won for the fifth time in six games, moved a season-high five games over .500 and snapped a second-place tie with the Pirates in the NL Central. St. Louis, though, trails the first-place Cubs by nine games.
Nicasio (5-5) was charged with six runs in one inning after beating the New York Mets in the second game of a doubleheader Tuesday when he allowed one run in five innings as a starter.
The Pirates, who lost their third straight game, scored a run off Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal in the bottom of the ninth to tie the score 3-3 when Starling Marte hit a leadoff triple and scored on Jordy Mercer’s one-out single.
The Cardinals went ahead 3-2 in the eighth inning on Carpenter’s three-run home run, his 10th, off Neftali Feliz. They had been blanked on two hits through the first seven innings.
Carpenter had two hits to run his hitting streak to seven games. Peralta and Moss also had two hits.
Marte had two hits for the Pirates, who scored their first two runs on Josh Harrison’s force out grounder in the third inning and John Jaso’s single in the fifth.
St. Louis’ Michael Wacha pitched well but remained winless in nine starts since April 23 when Rosenthal blew the save. Wacha’s personal losing streak remained at six games though he gave up two runs and three hits while striking out five and walking three.
“He stayed in the game long enough that he gave himself a chance to get a win,” Matheny said. “I wish we could have got him one but he can walk away from this start feeling good. He had really good stuff.”
Cole was removed after giving up a leadoff single to Carpenter. He was relieved by AJ Schugel after not allowing a run in two-plus innings. Cole gave up two hits and one walk while walking three.
“I’m all right,” Cole said. “I’ll be fine.”
Schugel pitched four perfect innings and struck out four.
Cervelli left after swinging at the first pitch of his at-bat. Chris Stewart pinch-hit and remained in the game at catcher.
Cardinals: Carpenter (jammed finger on right hand) returned after leaving a 3-2 win at Cincinnati on Thursday night in the eighth inning . RHP Lance Lynn, who underwent Tommy John elbow ligament transplant surgery in November, is expected to be examined by the team’s medical staff later this month in St. Louis and also throw in front of the coaching staff.
Cardinals: RHP Carlos Martinez (6-5, 3.76 ERA) will start Saturday night in the second game of the three-game series. Martinez has won consecutive starts after losing his previous five.
Pirates: LHP Francisco Liriano (4-5, 5.25) is 7-2 with a 2.41 ERA against the Cardinals in 14 career starts.