ST. LOUIS — Matt Carpenter had four hits and scored the winning run on Matt Holliday’s single in the 12th inning, helping the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-5 on Thursday for their second extra-inning triumph over the NL Central leaders in three days.
The Cardinals took two of three in the series to pull within two games of the sagging Pirates, who have dropped five of six. St. Louis won 4-3 in 14 innings in the series opener on Tuesday night.
Rookie Kevin Siegrist (1-1), St. Louis’ seventh pitcher, struck out two in a perfect 12th against the heart of the order.
Russell Martin and Clint Barmes homered for Pittsburgh, which blew a 4-0 lead in one inning. Jose Tabata had three straight hits after entering as a pinch hitter.
Carpenter sparked the winning rally with a one-out walk. He went to third on Jon Jay’s single before Holliday grounded a single up the middle off Bryan Morris (5-6).
Carpenter, the Cardinals’ leadoff man, leads the National League with 48 multihit games and 40 doubles. He entered with league-leading averages of .366 at home and .367 in day games.
Giants 4, Nationals 2
WASHINGTON — Pinch-hitter Hector Sanchez hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning, helping the San Francisco Giants beat the Washington Nationals.
Down to his last strike, Sanchez connected off Nationals closer Rafael Soriano (2-3) on a full-count pitch. The drive landed just inside the right field foul pole in the second deck.
Sergio Romo worked a scoreless bottom half for his 29th save. Javier Lopez (2-2) pitched 1 2-3 scoreless innings of relief to earn the win.
The loss snapped Washington’s five-game winning streak and spoiled Dan Haren’s six-inning, one-run effort.
Ian Desmond doubled home two runs and Jayson Werth added two hits for the Nationals.
Reds 2, Brewers 1
MILWAUKEE — Joey Votto hit a tiebreaking homer in the sixth inning and Tony Cingrani pitched solidly into the seventh, lifting the Cincinnati Reds to a win over the Milwaukee Brewers.
Cingrani (6-2) allowed only a second-inning home run to Khris Davis. Aroldis Chapman worked the ninth for his 30th save in 34 chances.
The Reds have won five straight and 10 of 13.
Votto’s homer was the only earned run allowed by Kyle Lohse (8-8) in seven innings. The right-hander also allowed an unearned run on five hits and four walks with four strikeouts in seven innings.