Phillies 8, Cardinals 7(11)
Juan Pierre took an Olympic-sized dose of inspiration watching Usain Bolt sprint to gold.
He took off on a 90-foot dash to his own finish line at first base.
No medals, just a needed victory for the Phillies.
Pierre beat out a run-scoring infield single in the 11th inning, lifting Phillies to an 8-7 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday.
''Once I hit it, I was like, `Get to the bag,''' Pierre said.
Pierre hit a ball deep into the hole that shortstop Rafael Furcal made a great stab at and fired to first. Pierre, who enjoyed watching Bolt compete, just beat the throw to score Jimmy Rollins and help the Phillies win two of three against the Cardinals.
''I played with Furcal so I knew what kind of arm he had,'' Pierre said. ''Guys are saying he slipped a little bit and couldn't get that much on the throw. He still got a lot on it, but not enough, and it happened to work out.
Rollins reached against Barret Browning (0-2) on a fielder's choice. He advanced to second base on a grounder and then stole third.
Without that stolen base, the game was going to the 12th.
Without Erik Kratz, the Phillies were going home losers.
Kratz delivered again in the clutch for the Phillies with a three-run homer off Mitchell Boggs in the eighth that tied the game 7-all. He continued his role as unlikely star for the Phillies and delivered one of his biggest hits yet.
Kratz then connected for the tying homer, his fifth, to left that sent the crowd into a frenzy.
The 32-year-old Kratz was a minor league journeyman pressed into the big leagues when reserve catcher Brian Schneider was injured. Kratz has become a fan favorite because of his instant production (9 of first 13 hits for extra bases) and feel-good story.
''You want to be the guy that gets called up,'' Kratz said. ''You're not going to sit there and just stay complacent. You're going to give everything you have and want to get your uniform dirty to win the game. You want to be asked to be put in that spot.''
So close to victory, the Cardinals head home with a tough loss to deal with as they try and make ground in their playoff push.
''Pierre showed his speed. I thought he would be out,'' Browning said. ''All losses are tough, but this one hurts a little more.''
Ryan Howard also homered for the Phillies. Matt Carpenter had three RBIs for the Cardinals.
Jeremy Horst (2-0) tossed two scoreless innings for his first major league victory in a game that lasted 3 hours, 53 minutes.
Kratz's tying shot was the breakthrough the Phillies needed against a tough Cardinals bullpen.
Jon Jay hit a tiebreaking double in the eighth inning and Carpenter followed with an RBI single to make it 7-4.
Cardinals relievers had held the Phillies scoreless until the eighth after they scored four runs against starter Lance Lynn.
Howard, who missed 84 games after rupturing his left Achilles tendon while making the final out of the NL division series last October, had little to worry about on his home run trot. His solo shot to left-center, his seventh, tied the game at 4 in the fourth inning. The game appeared headed toward a back-and-forth high scoring game - and returned to that flavor over the final three innings.
Lynn entered leading the National League with a 6.77 run support average and his 23rd start of the season was trending that way.
The Phillies roughed up Lynn with a three-run first. Utley's two-RBI triple made it 2-1 and Howard followed with a shot off second baseman Daniel Descalso's glove for a run-scoring single.
Lynn, a 13-game winner, allowed four runs in five innings and is winless in his last three starts.
''We've had series like this all season and they are tough losses,'' Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.
The Cardinals did what they could to put Lynn in position for win No. 14. Carlos Beltran doubled to right for his NL-best 83rd RBI in the third to cut it to 3-2.
The Cardinals scored the tying run in the fourth on a throwing error by Kratz and went up 4-3 on Carpenter's RBI single to center.
Carpenter wasted little time putting the Cardinals up 1-0 in the first when he ripped one into the right-center gap for an RBI double.
Vance Worley has just one win in his last five starts and had another rough outing Sunday. He allowed nine hits and four runs in 5 1-3 innings - one start after he was chased by Atlanta in the fourth inning. He's battled bone chips that caused a stint on the DL and a string of mediocre starts.
NOTES: The Phillies finished 5-4 on their homestand. ... The Cardinals head to St. Louis to open a nine-game game homestand. ... The Phillies are 5-9 in extra innings; the Cardinals 3-8.