Cardinals' rally falls short in 9th, Diamondbacks win

PHOENIX (AP) — Pinch-hitter Paul Goldschmidt grounded into a game-ending double play with two runners on the base and the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals fell short during a ninth-inning rally, losing to the Arizona Diamondbacks 9-7 Wednesday.

The Cardinals began the day with a 2 ½-game lead over Milwaukee in the division. By the end of the game, the Brewers held a big, early lead at Cincinnati.

St. Louis and Arizona were back on the field about 11 hours after the Diamondbacks' 3-2 win in 19 innings, a game that took nearly seven hours. Cardinals starter Michael Wacha was pulled in the second inning with tightness in his right shoulder.

Errors by rookie infielders Tommy Edman and Edmundo Sosa helped Arizona score seven times in the sixth for a 9-5 lead. Wilmer Flores homered during the burst, which also included a run-scoring wild pitch.

The Cardinals loaded the bases with one out in the ninth and Matt Wieters hit a two-run single. Goldschmidt was up next — he had homered in the first two games of the series, marking his return to the desert after the Diamondbacks traded their longtime star to St. Louis in the offseason.

Facing former teammate Archie Bradley, Goldschmidt hit a grounder and Arizona turned two to end it. Bradley got his 17th save.

Merrill Kelly (13-14) exited trailing 5-2 after six innings and wound up with the win.

Reliever Junior Fernandez (0-1) took the loss.

Cardinals rookie outfielder Randy Arozarena hit his first major league home run, stole home and threw out a runner at third base. Martinez added a triple, double and two RBIs.

Flores hit a two-run double in the first, and Wacha left with two outs in the second. Wacha has pitched well recently, but is 0-3 in 10 starts since rejoining the rotation in early August.

Only a combined three players from both teams who played the entirety of Tuesday's night's marathon were in the starting lineup Wednesday, and all played the whole game.

St. Louis took the lead in the fourth on the Cardinals' first steal of home plate since September of 2012. Arozarena beat the tag at home plate after a dropped pickoff throw to first base. The Diamondbacks lost their challenge of the safe call on the play.

Arozarena's home run to left field in the top of the sixth gave the Cardinals a 5-2 lead.

HIGH PRAISE

Watching Yadier Molina still looking spry and energetic in the 19th inning of Tuesday night's game, Cardinals manager Mike Shildt only further came away impressed with his star catcher, who played the entire game on Tuesday before getting Wednesday off.

"Been around professional baseball for 43 years or close to it," Shildt said before Wednesday's game. "I can confidently say, no slight to anyone — smartest, toughest, biggest heart of anyone I've seen in this game in all of those individual categories."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Cardinals: 2B Kolten Wong (hamstring) is set to hit on the field at Busch Stadium on Thursday, an off day. "We'll know more after (Thursday), but he's getting close," Shildt said.

Diamondbacks: OF Abraham Almonte pulled up trying to reach down for what ended up being Martinez's triple in the fifth, and left the game. His injury was announced as a strained left hamstring. ... RHP Taijuan Walker (Tommy John surgery in 2018, shoulder injury) is scheduled for a bullpen session on Thursday. Walker hasn't pitched all season but could make a start before it ends. ... Manager Torey Lovullo said the team has decided to shut down pitchers Zac Gallen, who threw 80 innings for Miami and Arizona since June, and Luke Weaver, who after being out since late May with forearm tightness recently came back for a major league appearance.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: After a day off for the team, RHP Dakota Hudson (16-7, 3.45 ERA) is scheduled to start at home Friday in the series opener with the Chicago Cubs.

Diamondbacks: RHP Taylor Clarke (5-5, 5.40 ERA) is set for his first career start against the San Diego Padres on Friday after Arizona has the day off.

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