ST. LOUIS - Just a few days ago, the St. Louis Cardinals had no wins when trailing after eight innings and just one extra-inning victory.
They certainly showed the Pittsburgh Pirates they can go the extra mile.
"We did a good job of bouncing back," said Matt Holliday, who hit a game-ending RBI single in the 12th inning of St. Louis' 6-5 victory over Pittsburgh on Thursday. "Winning this game could be very important for us."
Matt Carpenter had four hits and scored the winning run in the Cardinals' second extra-inning triumph over the NL Central leaders in three days.
"Anytime having a walk-off win, it's a big deal," manager Mike Matheny said. "Jumping on it again it today is just the resiliency of this club.
"You could sense it on the bench. The guys weren't going to give in, weren't going to stop pushing."
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 opener on Tuesday.
"We had a number of guys that had opportunities," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "The great thing about what we're going through is the challenge and opportunities we're all getting."
The Cardinals lost the division lead when they dropped four of five in Pittsburgh from July 29-Aug. 1.
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.