Three outs from victory, the Arizona Diamondbacks went into defensive collapse mode tonight at Busch Stadium.
Former Cardinal Dan Haren, who had smacked one of Arizona's three homers off the Cardinals, took a 5-3 lead into the bottom of the ninth before giving up hits to Yadier Molina and Brendan Ryan, each of whon had two singles after lengthy slumps.
Haren was removed for Aaron Heilman and Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright was sent up to sacrifice. Heilman, barehanding Wainwright's bunt, had a play at third but threw the ball past third baseman Mark Reynolds as pinch runner Jaime Garcia scored and Ryan went to third and Wainwright to second.
Randy Winn grounded out, the runners holding, but Arizona first baseman Adam LaRoche, after gloving Skip Schumaker's bouncer, threw past catcher Miguel Montero at the plate and both Ryan and Wainwright scored to give the Cardinals an improbable victory.
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa was ejected by home-plate umpire Mark Carlson in the ninth inning for coming onto the field to protest a strike called against Molina, before he singled.
CARDINALS MISS HUGE CHANCE
Consecutive singles by Randy Winn, Skip Schumaker and Felipe Lopez to open the Cardinals' eighth inning tonight cut Arizona's lead to 5-3 and the paid house of 41,578 at Busch Stadium waited expectantly for more in the inning. There was no more.
With the potential winning run at the plate in every at-bat, Dan Haren fanned Albert Pujols on a 2-2 breaking ball, whiffed Matt Holliday on a 91 mile an hour fastball and got Colby Rasmus to fly to center.
WINN LOSES BALL _ IT'S A HOMER
In one of the strangest plays of the season, Cardinals right fielder Randy Winn leaped, several feet in front of the right-center-field wall, for Mark Reynolds' eighth-inning drive tonight _ and inadvertently knocked the ball over the fence with his glove for a two-run homer.
Reynolds' 18th home run of the season, giving Arizona a 5-2 lead, came off reliever Jason Motte.
Winn probably had another step he could have taken before he jumped for the ball.
HAREN HOMER HURTS 'CARP'
Arizona righthander Dan Haren, a .444 hitter, blasted his first homer of the season to break a 2-2 tie in the seventh inning. Haren's blast off the Cardinals' Chris Carpenter was a 405-foot opposite-field rocket to the right-center field seats.
The homer was the second of Haren's career. The homer off Carpenter this season was the 13th after he had allowed only seven all last season.
LaROCHE HOMER TIES GAME IN SIXTH
After Chris Carpenter had thrown 18 straight scoreless innings over three starts, Arizona first baseman Adam LaRoche tied tonight's game with a two-run homer into the Cardinals' bullpen with two out in the sixth inning. Carpenter had issued his third walk of the game, to Chris Young, before LaRoche's 12th homer of the season.
Young had stayed alive on a checked swing, ruled a ball, just before he walked.
CARPENTER LOOKS FOR 22-2
Chris Carpenter was scoreless through four innings tonight against Arizona as he tried to raise his record to 10-1 this season. A victory would give Carpenter 22 wins in his last 24 decisions dating to last year. The Cardinals led, 2-0, entering the bottom of the fourth.
PUJOLS DOUBLE CAPS 2-RUN FIRST
Cardiinals righthander Chris Carpenter appeared to be hit on the right forearm by Kelly Johnson's smash in the first inning tonight. Carpenter, hustling after the ball, could not get the out at first on the play but declined medical attention.
Carpenter must have been all right. He immediately got Tony Abreu to hit into a double play and struck out Justin Upton.
The Cardinals then jumped former Cardinal Danny Haren for two runs in their half of the inning. Skip Schumaker opened with a single and Felipe Lopez delivered a hit-and-run single on the next pitch, sending Schumaker to third.
Schumaker scored on a wild pitch and Lopez to second. Albert Pujols delivered just his eighth extra-base hit this month with a run-scoring double to left.
Three Cardinals righthanders did some throwing at different levels this afternoon before tonight's Cardinals game here with Arizona.
Righthander Brad Penny, who hasn't pitched since May 21 because of a strained muscle in his upper back, threw off a bullpen mound for 20 minutes. He first lobbed some pitches, then worked from the stretch and then threw with more purpose out of the windup.
"He threw a good amount of pitches. He looked good," said righthander Blake Hawksworth, who threw after Penny did.
Manager Tony La Russa said, however, he didn't expect Penny to be pitching before the All-Star break which is in just two weeks.
Hawksworth threw a regular starter's bullpen session. After pitching impressively for five innings in Kansas City Saturday, Hawksworth has earned another start Thursday here against Milwaukee.
Earlier, righthander Kyle Lohe, who has been out since May 22 after suffering a forearm injury which required surgery, played catch this afternoon for the first time.
"It's one of those one-day-at-a-time things," said Lohse, who is on the 60-day disabled list until at least July 23. "I felt really good out there. There were a couple of days early on when I was looking at this scar and saying, 'Wow, how am I going to make this work again?'''
Besides right fielder Ryan Ludwick, who is out of the Cardinals' lineup with a strained right calf, third baseman David Freese is expected to miss the three-game series with Arizona here because of more irritation to his right ankle.The series starts at Busch Stadium tonight.
Freese suffered the injury when he was running the bases on June 5 against Milwaukee here. He missed five starts after that but after returning, he has gone just 11 for 50, counting a couple of pinch-hit appearances.
"It just really hasn't gotten any better," Freese said. "At this point, you have to look at the big picture here. Me trying to toughen through it over the last three weeks just wasn't helping us."
Felipe Lopez will play third and bat second. Shortstop Brendan Ryan, his latest nosedive having extended to nothing for 17, has been moved from ninth to seventh ahead of pitcher Chris Carpenter because Ryan hasn't been getting on base enough, said manager Tony La Russa.
Randy Winn, who will play right field, has been getting on base and will hit ninth, serving as La Russa's second leadoff hitter.