But persistence paid off, notably for Ryan Ludwick, who was one of those who didn't come through in the ninth inning, fanning with the bases loaded and one out. Ludwick, a late-inning insertion, also flied out with a man on in the 12th.
Greeting Jorge De La Rosa in the 14th, though, Ludwick blasted a 2-2 pitch 434 feet into the center field shrubbery, and the Cardinals had a 7-6 victory and a two-games-to-one series victory over Kansas City.
Persistence also paid off for right-hander Kip Wells, the eighth St. Louis pitcher who is scheduled to start Sunday after being skipped Tuesday.
Perhaps Wells' calling in the long run is as a reliever rather than as a starter.
Aaron Miles continued to cement his status as more than a utility man. He singled in each of his first five at-bats, tying his career high for hits, and raised his average to .360 for the month.
Manager Tony La Russa guaranteed that Miles would be playing somewhere Friday when the Cardinals play Philadelphia. In the long run, when shortstop David Eckstein comes off the injured list, Miles may get more time at second base until Adam Kennedy snaps out of a funk that has dropped his average to .208.
CARDINALS 7, ROYALS 6 (14 innings): Right fielder Ryan Ludwick clouted his fourth homer to lead off the 14th inning and make a winner of Kip Wells, who worked two strong innings of relief. The Cardinals, who, like Kansas City, used eight pitchers, finished interleague play with a 6-9 record and tied Kansas City in the season series at 3-3.
NOTES AND QUOTES
--RHP Chris Carpenter, out since the first day of the season with elbow problems that required surgery, had his most vigorous throwing session Wednesday afternoon since his surgery to remove bone chips.
"He put a lot into it," manager Tony La Russa said. "It will be interesting to see how he feels (Thursday). He was letting it go. He was supposed to be pitching at whatever percent, and he was doing a little more than that."
--C Yadier Molina appears to be healing quickly from the fractured left wrist that has sidelined him for three weeks and it may not be another three before he returns. The original timetable had him sitting out four to six weeks.
--CF So Taguchi singled and doubled Wednesday, extending his hitting streak to 13 games (20-for-47, .436).
--LF Chris Duncan has driven in 13 runs in his last six games.
--The Cardinals have won all five of RHP Todd Wellemeyer's starts, scoring 43 runs in the process.