With the score 1-1, Matt Carpenter doubled off former Cardinals righthander John Brebbia to lead off the seventh and was run for by Jose Rondon. DeJong, who earlier had hit his 13th homer, sent a fly ball to right field, moving Rondon to third.
On a two-strike swing, Harrison Bader jabbed a ball to first baseman Lamonte Wade Jr., who was playing in for a play at the plate. The ball went off Wade’s glove as Rondon, running on contact, easily scored what turned out to be the winning run as Bader dived in safely at first. He reached the bag ahead of Brebbia, who had retrieved the ball.
The inning had been set up, however, by DeJong’s fly ball that advanced Rondon. If Rondon still was at second, Bader’s ball might have been an out at first with the infield back.
“Especially, late in the game, you’ve got to get that guy over,” said DeJong, who said he was “kind of giving up” the inside pitch.
“I was looking to drive the ball the other way,” he said. “I just knew I could stay back and look for something away and trust myself. He threw me a little slider out there and I was able to do it.
“It would be a little different story if we had, like, a (Luis) Castillo from the Reds who’s going to throw that 97 mile an hour sinker on your hands. You might take your chances on a left-center double but, overall, that matchup (with Brebbia) played right into our hands.