D-backs hand Cardinals second straight loss

Wilmer Flores had three hits, including a two-run homer and a two-run double, and the Arizona Diamondbacks stalled the St. Louis Cardinals' run for the National League Central title with a 9-7 victory on Wednesday afternoon in Phoenix.

Flores' two-run homer, his ninth of the season, capped a seven-run sixth inning that gave Arizona a 9-5 lead. Nick Ahmed and Adam Jones also had run-scoring hits in the rally, during which the Cardinals committed two infield errors, threw two wild pitches and issued two walks while using three relievers.

Matt Wieters hit a two-run single after the Cardinals loaded the bases with one out in the ninth inning, but Archie Bradley got pinch hitter Paul Goldschmidt to ground into a game-ending double play for his 17th save.

St. Louis (90-69) lost its second straight and was two games ahead of Milwaukee (87-70) ahead the Brewers' game at Cincinnati later Wednesday.

Rookie Randy Arozarena had two hits, including his first major league homer, and stole home, and Jose Martinez had three hits and two RBIs for Cardinals, who conclude the season with a three-game home series against the Chicago Cubs that begins Friday.

Arozarena stole home to give the Cardinals a 3-2 lead in the fourth inning, and his solo homer in the sixth made it 5-2 before the Diamondbacks rallied in the last of the inning.

Arizona right-hander Merrill Kelly (13-14) gave up eight hits and five runs in six innings, benefitting from the seven-run sixth for the victory. He had seven strikeouts and two walks.

Cardinals starter Michel Wacha left the game due to right shoulder tightness after a 2-0 pitch to Abraham Almonte with two outs in the second inning after giving up four hits and two runs. He walked two and fanned three.

His early departure forced the Cardinals to use six relievers after using 11 pitchers in a 3-2, 19-inning loss Tuesday, a game that lasted 6:53 and was the longest game by innings in Arizona franchise history.

Junior Fernandez (0-1) took the loss after giving up four runs and recording just one out.

Flores' two-run double Wednesday gave an the Diamondbacks a 2-0 lead in the first inning before Martinez tied it with a two-run double in the third.

Tommy Edman, who had two hits, was the only Cardinals' starter on Wednesday who played all 19 innings the night before. Goldschmidt came off the bench, and Yadier Molina and Marcell Ozuna were given the day off.

--Field Level Media