ST. LOUIS >> Kolten Wong homered in the 14th inning and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates in extra innings for the third straight time, 3-2 on Sunday.
The Cardinals posted three extra-inning wins in a row for the first time since July 2006, when they twice beat Houston before the All-Star break and then won at Dodger Stadium when play resumed.
The NL Central leaders are a major league-best 18-6, matching the franchise’s best 24-game start since 1900. They had the same record in 1941 and 1944.
Pedro Alvarez homered in the Pittsburgh 12th inning before the Cardinals tied it on a bases-loaded single by Peter Bourjos in the bottom half. St. Louis left the bases loaded in the 11th and again in the 12th.
The finale of a three-game series that totaled 35 innings lasted 4 hours and 28 minutes.
Wong hit his second homer with one out, sending a pitch from Radhames Liz (1-2) into the home bullpen in right.
Rookie Miguel Socolovich (1-0) worked a perfect 14th to earn his first career victory.
After walking in four straight at-bats, Alvarez hit his fifth homer, connecting against rookie Sam Tuivailala.
Bourjos’ infield hit against Liz ticked off the glove of diving third baseman Josh Harrison.
Jung Ho Kang’s first homer came on the first pitch of the ninth from Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal. It’s the first blown save in nine chances for Rosenthal and first homer allowed.
Pirates starter Vance Worley gave up a run on four hits in six innings. St. Louis starter Michael Wacha allowed five hits in 6 2-3 scoreless innings.
Matt Carpenter hit his fourth homer leading off the fourth. He was removed in a double switch after seven innings after experiencing light-headedness.
Center fielder Andrew McCutchen’s glove popped off as he attempted to reach over the wall for Carpenter’s fourth homer. The shot ended a run of 95 consecutive innings in 11 games by Pirates pitchers without allowing a longball.
McCutchen lost his mitt again just missing a diving catch on Jhonny Peralta’s bloop single in the seventh.
Pirates: Pitcher Charlie Morton, rehabbing from offseason hip surgery, threw 93 pitches in extended spring training on Saturday.
Cardinals: Set-up man Jordan Walden was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right biceps inflammation.
Pirates: Jeff Locke (2-1, 4.76) didn’t make it out of the fourth inning in his last game. On Tuesday, he’ll oppose the Reds to open a six-game homestand.
Cardinals: Carlos Martinez (3-0, 1.73) is among the league leaders in ERA and has won his last three starts, surrendering three runs in 19 innings.