CINCINNATI — Tony Womack singled with the bases loaded in the 11th inning Monday night, sparking a four-run rally that sent the St. Louis Cardinals to a 9-6 win against the fading Cincinnati Reds.
The Reds lost their sixth in a row, not the way they wanted to start a homestand that could determine their season. They blew a pair of leads and fell to .500 for the first time since May 13.
St. Louis improved to 9-2 against Cincinnati this season by taking advantage of a pivotal error.
Jim Edmonds led off the 11th with a four-pitch walk from Phil Norton (1-3), who couldn’t throw a strike to the only batter he faced.
After John Mabry singled off John Riedling, right fielder Wily Mo Pena let Mike Matheny’s routine fly deflect off the heel of his glove for an error, loading the bases.
Womack’s single snapped the tie, and So Taguchi followed with a sacrifice fly. Edgar Renteria completed the rally with a two-run single.
Ray King (4-1) retired Sean Casey to end the 10th, keeping the NL Central leaders in line for yet another extra-inning win. The Cardinals are 7-1 in extra innings this season.
Pena hit an RBI double in the bottom of the 11th.
In the division, St. Louis has opened a double-digit lead, the biggest in the majors, by going 9-3 since the All-Star game.
Each team hit three home runs, leaving it tied at 5 through eight innings. The six home runs matched the most in Great American Ball Park’s two seasons.
Scott Rolen had a solo shot, Edmonds hit a two-run home run in the sixth, his 25th, and the Cardinals pulled even in the eighth on Albert Pujols’ 29th home run.
Pujols’ drive to left-center denied starter Paul Wilson a chance for his career-high 10th win. Clinging to a 5-4 lead, the right-hander retired the first two batters in the eighth, then went to a full count against Pujols.
The next pitch, Wilson’s 112th, came in chest-high, and Pujols hit it into the seats in left-center to tie it.
Cardinals starter Woody Williams, trying for his 100th career victory, gave up three home runs for the first time this season.
D’Angelo Jimenez hit a two-run shot in the first that skimmed the right-field foul pole and set the tone for the night. Adam Dunn led off the sixth inning with his 27th home run, and Pena hit a solo shot one out later for a 5-4 lead.
It was an uncharacteristic showing by Williams, who has given up 13 home runs this season. A right-hander, Williams has allowed one or none in 16 of his 21 starts.