• Champs fading: The Cardinals have lost 12 of their last 13 games to fall a season-worst 10 games below .500.
• Hunt for October: The Phillies moved within 1½ games of the Mets in the NL East and remained 1½ behind the Padres in the wild-card race.
• Figure this: Ryan Howard went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts and two walks, going hitless for the first time in 15 career games against the Cardinals.
• Quotable: "It's huge because you never want to play 5 hours and come up on the losing end, use up a whole bullpen and use up pretty much everybody on the bench. To come away with a win, I hope it lifts us up even higher." -- Phillies' Clay Condrey, who earned the save
-- ESPN.com news services
Phillies 7, Cardinals 4 (14 innings)
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The Philadelphia Phillies kept their rapid playoff charge going with a wild win on a long night.
Pinch-hitter Rod Barajas singled home the tiebreaking run with two outs in the 14th inning, Jayson Werth added a two-run triple and Philadelphia beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-4 on Tuesday to move within 1½ games of first-place New York in the NL East.
"We stayed there long enough to win," manager Charlie Manuel said. "That was good. It was kind of a standoff, the way I saw it."
The Phillies, who were seven games back after losing last Wednesday, have won six straight. The division deficit is their smallest since they lost on Opening Day.
"At this point of the season, every game is magnified," Barajas said. "To be able to come through and help this team in such a crucial situation, it felt wonderful."
Philadelphia also stayed 1½ games behind San Diego in the wild-card race. The Phillies have won a pair of extra-inning games during the streak, which has boosted their record to a season-best 13 games over .500 at 82-69.
Mike Maroth (0-5) was the 11th pitcher used by the sagging but stubborn Cardinals, an NL record. St. Louis lost for the 12th time in 13 games. The Cardinals also tied an NL record with 28 players used in an extra-inning game. The combined 53 players used by both teams tied the NL mark for an extra-inning game.
The Cardinals, the defending World Series champions, are a season-worst 10 games below .500.
"It was just a really tough game," manager Tony La Russa said. "It wears you out when you get beat. They've got a lot of adrenaline and we don't."
Cole Hamels came off the disabled list for Philadelphia and pitched three shaky innings. Chase Utley singled to start the 14th, moved up on a sacrifice and scored the go-ahead run. Werth also had
an RBI triple in the sixth.
Condrey is the ninth Phillies pitcher to earn a save this season.
"It's huge because you never want to play 5 hours and come up on the losing end, use up a whole bullpen and use up pretty much everybody on the bench," Condrey said. "To come away with a win, I hope it lifts us up even higher."
Barajas is 4-for-8 as a pinch hitter. He got his first RBI.
Second baseman Aaron Miles' throwing error on Greg Dobbs' bases-loaded grounder with one out allowed the Phillies to go ahead 4-3 in the 10th. Miles' throw short-hopped catcher Kelly Stinnett in a force attempt at the plate.
Miles helped the Cardinals tie it in the bottom half. He singled with one out off Brett Myers, who blew his third save in 20 chances, advanced to third on Miguel Cairo's single and scored on Scott Spiezio's sacrifice fly.
Ryan Howard was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts and two walks, going hitless for the first time in 15 career games against the Cardinals, his hometown team. Howard homered twice with his fifth career grand slam on Monday and is batting .339 (21-for-58) against St. Louis with six homers and 17 RBIs.
Hamels, back from an elbow strain, made his first appearance since Aug. 16. He was impressive against the top of the Cardinals' order in an 11-pitch first, but was not sharp after that, allowing three runs and five hits.
The Cardinals began the game with a makeshift lineup. Todd Wellemeyer was their eighth starting pitcher in 10 games.
Albert Pujols was scratched just before game time with a strained left calf muscle, leaving St. Louis with only three players in the lineup from the Opening-Day roster.
La Russa yanked rookie Brendan Ryan early for swinging at a 3-0 pitch. St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina left with flulike symptoms before the fifth, and center fielder Jim Edmonds was unavailable due to a strained groin.
Cardinals reliever Russ Springer has thrown 16 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings, a season best for the Cardinals, after working 1 1/3 innings on Tuesday. He had a 14-inning run earlier in the year. ... Utley has a 19-game hitting streak against St. Louis pitching, batting .396 (36-for-91) with two homers and 17 RBIs and has hit in 13 straight overall. ... Prior to Monday's 13-11 victory, the Phillies had lost 60 straight road games since 1991 when allowing that many runs. ... The Phillies were 5-for-5 in stolen base attempts against Kelly Stinnett.