Another gritty St. Louis comeback lifted the Cardinals to a 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday to tie their best-of-five divisional playoff series 1-1.
Having overcome an 8.5 game deficit in the final month of the season to claw their way into the playoffs, the Cardinals rallied from 4-0 down to the Phillies on Sunday and now head back to St. Louis for Game Three on Tuesday.
Everyone thought we were out of the competition, and we're here, Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols told reporters. You can't take anything for granted, you have 27 outs and that's what it took.
Hopefully we continue to play like this.
The Cardinals' rally began in the fourth inning where they scored three runs to get back in the game, and in the sixth Jon Jay hit the game-tying RBI single to score Ryan Theriot, who got on base with a two-out double.
Jay finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs on the night while Theriot also added two hits and two runs scored.
Pujols delivered the go-ahead RBI single in the seventh and finished 2-for-5 as the visitors beat Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee.
Lee has pitched in the last two World Series, for the Phillies in 2009 and Texas last season, but he could not find his consistency against the Cardinals and allowed five runs and 12 hits.
St. Louis starter Chris Carpenter, pitching on just three days rest, lasted only three innings and left with his team trailing 4-0 but the Cardinals used six relievers to close out the Phillies.
Octavio Dotel tossed a perfect 1 1/3 inning and was credited with the win and Jason Motte worked the final 1 1/3 to record the save.
We got Carpenter out of the game early. We felt real good about ourselves, said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. We were trying to get to the bullpen, but the big problem was their bullpen held us.
Philadelphia's Ryan Howard hit a two-RBI single in the first inning where the Phillies scored three runs before adding another in the second.
Jimmy Rollins finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored for Philadelphia.