MILWAUKEE — Paul Goldschmidt homered twice, and the St. Louis Cardinals overcame a five-run deficit to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 8-5 Thursday and extend their longest winning streak in 39 years to 12 games.
On a day starter Adam Wainwright faltered early, St. Louis trailed 5-0 before rallying with one run in the fifth, four in the seventh, two in the eighth and one in the ninth. The Cardinals moved five games ahead of Cincinnati and Philadelphia, who both play later Thursday, for the second NL wild card.
St. Louis began its winning streak by overcame a four-run deficit against Cincinnati to win on Sept. 11. The Cardinals are on their longest winning streak since April 11-24, 1982, and are two wins shy of the franchise record set in 1935.
Milwaukee has lost five in a row since clinching its fourth consecutive playoff berth on Sept. 18, including four defeats to the Cardinals.
St. Louis loaded the bases with one outs in the seventh on two walks and a single against Jake Cousins, and Tommy Edman hit an RBI grounder off Brad Boxberger, whose throwing error on a pickoff attempt brought in another run. Goldschmidt tied the score with a two-run homer.
Goldschmidt added his 29th homer in the ninth off Ashby.
T.J. McFarland (4-1) pitched a one-hit seventh, Luis García threw the eighth and Giovanny Gallegos struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 12th save in 20 chances as four relievers combined for shutout relief.
Wainwright, who has won nine of his last 10 decisions, allowed five runs, four hits and two walks in four innings.
Tyrone Taylor hit a grand slam in the first inning and a solo shot in the fourth.
Wainwright joined Hall of Famer Bob Gibson as the only St. Louis Cardinals pitchers with 2,000 strikeouts, fanning Milwaukee’s Luis Urias in the fourth inning.
The 40-year-old right-hander became the ninth active pitcher with 2,000. Gibson got his 2,000th strikeout when Pittsburgh’s Roberto Clemente was called out on July 13, 1969. Gibson, who died last October, finished with 3,117 strikeouts.