Cardinals hold on to beat Giants

Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:54am EDT
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(The Sports Xchange) - The ball came off pinch-hitter Buster Posey's bat with an arc that suggested a go-ahead, two-out, two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning.

In the St. Louis Cardinals' dugout, pitching coach Derek Lilliquist turned to manager Mike Matheny, unworried as center fielder Peter Bourjos sped to the wall.

"Derek said, 'That's not a problem.' So I was convinced it was staying in the ballpark," Matheny said before laughing.

Posey's fly ball made it to the wall, but Bourjos ran it down and St. Louis escaped with a 2-1 win over the San Francisco Giants at Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals (76-42) tied a season high by going 34 games over .500 with the victory while increasing their National League Central lead over Pittsburgh to six games.

The winning run was scored in unusual fashion as first baseman Mark Reynolds reached safely on a fielder's choice in the eighth when shortstop Brandon Crawford threw wide of first while attempting to complete a double play.

Crawford could have flipped the ball to second baseman Kelby Tomlinson at the bag, but he hurried to second himself, tagged the bag and spun away from it.

The inaccurate throw enabled right fielder Stephen Piscotty to score the tie-breaking run from third base.

"He's the best in the game, I think," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said of Crawford.   Continued...

Aug 17, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Mark Reynolds (12) drives in the game winning run on a fielders choice off of San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Hunter Strickland (not pictured) during the eighth inning at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Giants 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports