Tyler O'Neill hit a two-run homer to rally the St. Louis Cardinals past the visiting San Diego Padres 3-2 Saturday.
O'Neill's eighth-inning blast off reliever Emilio Pagan (4-2) erased San Diego's 2-1 lead and propelled the Cardinals to their seventh straight victory.
The Cardinals (78-69) pushed the lead over the Cincinnati Reds to two games and over the Padres (76-72) to 2 1/2 games in the race for the second National League wild-card slot.
Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright allowed two runs on seven hits in six innings. Justin Miller (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth inning to earn the victory and Giovanny Gallegos closed out the game for his ninth save.
Padres starting pitcher Yu Darvish threw seven scoreless innings. He struck out nine batters and allowed just three hits and a walk.
The Padres took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning. Manny Machado led off with a single, raced to third on Adam Frazier's single and scored on Tommy Pham's single.
Wil Myers popped out and Trent Grisham struck out, but Vic Caratini hit an RBI single.
Darvish retired the first nine batters he faced. Tommy Edman broke that spell with a leadoff single in the fourth inning.
Paul Goldschmidt walked, but Darvish struck out O'Neill and Nolan Arenado before getting Yadier Molina to fly out.
Umpire Phil Cuzzi ejected Padres manager Jayce Tingler in the fifth inning for complaining about balls and strikes calls.
Matt Carpenter broke an 0-for-30 slump with a leadoff double in the sixth inning. Edman reached on an infield single, but Darvish struck out Goldschmidt and O'Neill and coaxed a groundout from Arenado.
Harrison Bader hit a leadoff double in the eighth off Pagan. He took third on Lars Nootbaar's flyout and scored on Edman's sacrifice fly to cut the lead to 2-1.
Goldschmidt walked to set the stage for O'Neill's decisive homer.
--Field Level Media