Paul Goldschmidt homered twice, and the St. Louis Cardinals overcame a five-run deficit to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 8-5 Thursday and extend their longest winning streak in 39 years to 12 games.
On a day Adam Wainwright faltered early, St. Louis trailed 5-0 before rallying with one run in the fifth, four in the seventh, two in the eighth and one in the ninth. The Cardinals moved five games ahead of Cincinnati and Philadelphia, who both played later Thursday, for the second NL wild card.
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St. Louis began its winning streak by overcame a four-run deficit against Cincinnati to win on Sept. 11. The Cardinals are on their longest winning streak since April 11-24, 1982, and are two shy of the franchise record set in 1935.
Milwaukee has lost five in a row since clinching its fourth consecutive playoff berth on Sept. 18, including four defeats to the Cardinals.
Yadier Molina started the comeback with an RBI single in the fifth off Adrian Houser.
St. Louis loaded the bases with one outs in the seventh on two walks and a single against Jake Cousins, and Tommy Edman hit an RBI grounder off Brad Boxberger, whose throwing error on a pickoff attempt brought in another run. Goldschmidt tied the score with a two-run homer.
Nolan Arenada walked against Aaron Ashby (3-1) leading off the eighth and scored on Manny Piña’s passed ball for a 6-5 lead. Molina added a sacrifice fly.
Goldschmidt added his 29t homer in the ninth off Ashby.
T.J. McFarland (4-1) pitched a one-hit seventh, Luis García threw the eighth and Giovanny Gallegos struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 12th save in 20 chances as four relievers combined for shutout relief.
Wainwright, who has won nine of his last 10 decisions, allowed five runs, four hits and two walks in four innings.
Tyrone Taylor hit a grand slam in the first inning and a solo shot in the fourth.
Wainwright joined Hall of Famer Bob Gibson as the only St. Louis Cardinals’ pitchers with 2,000 strikeouts, fanning Milwaukee’s Luis Urías in the fourth inning.
The 40-year-old right-hander became the ninth active pitcher with 2,000. Gibson got his 2,000th strikeout when Pittsburgh’s Roberto Clemente was called out on July 13, 1969. Gibson, who died last October, finished with 3,117.ot.
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Cardinals: Arenado, who left in the fifth inning Wednesday night with lower back tightness, started at third and went 0 for 3 with a walk. Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said that Arenado had a treatment on his back after the game and then this morning and declared himself ready to go.
Brewers: Piña took a foul tip off Wainwright’s bat off the top of his left shin pad. After a short delay, he remained in the game. … RF Avisaíl García was scheduled for a day off, but pinch hit for Houser in the sixth and grounded out.
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Before Cousins threw a pitch in the seventh, the umpires made him switch gloves. Brewers manager Craig Counsell came out to join the discussion.
Cardinals: LHP J.A. Happ (9-8, 6.02 ERA) opens a four-game road series as the Cardinals take on LHP Justin Steele (3-3,4.20 ERA) and the Chicago Cubs. It’s the first time Happ has faced the Cubs since 2017. He is 1-5 with a 6.00 ERA in seven career starts against them, including 0-2 at Wrigley Field.
Brewers: LHP Eric Lauer (6-5, 3.03 ERA) opens the final regular season home series against RHP Tyler Megill (3-5, 4.57 ERA) and the New York Mets. It’s Lauer’s first outing against the Mets.