ST. LOUIS - Yadier Molina hit a disputed double that drove in the winning run with two outs in the ninth inning Thursday night, sending the St. Louis Cardinals over the Cincinnati Reds 4-3.
The Cardinals began the day one game behind San Francisco for the second NL wild-card spot.
Matt Carpenter drew a one-out walk from Blake Wood (6-5). With two outs, Molina's one-hop hit appeared to bounce off a sign above the left-field wall and carom back into play.
Carpenter kept running and scored from first. Reds manager Bryan Price ran after the umpires, who left the field as soon as Carpenter touched the plate.
Price later said umpire crew chief Bill Miller told him that teams have 10 seconds to appeal on a game-ending play, and that the complaint wasn't made in time.
"I'm not blaming the umpires. I'm blaming the system," Price said.
Molina and Jedd Gyorko hit solo homers for the Cardinals.
Seung Hwan Oh (6-3) wound up with the win.
Cincinnati scored single runs in the eighth and ninth. Pinch hitter Scott Schebler had a two-out, two-strike infield single to make it 3-all.
Gyorko hit his team-high 28th homer off starter Dan Straily in the second. Molina hit his eighth homer in the fifth.
St. Louis rookie Alex Reyes, in his fifth major league start, gave up one run on seven hits in a 99-pitch outing. He struck out six and walked two.
Reyes, who lowered his ERA to 1.57, also drove in the go-ahead run with a groundout.
Cincinnati closed to within 3-2 in the eighth on a double by Joey Votto and an RBI single by Adam Duvall.
Votto left the game after suffering a cut to his chin while sliding into second base. He had three hits.
The Reds have scored first in their last seven games.
Reds: INF Brandon Phillips was held out of the lineup for the second successive game with a sore left hand suffered on a swing Monday night.
Cards: OF Brandon Moss was given the day off. He is mired in a 7-for-95 skid.
Reds: RHP Josh Smith (3-2, 4.77) will face the Chicago Cubs in the opener of a three-game series in Cincinnati on Friday. He will be making his second start of the season and 32nd. appearance.
Cards: RHP Carlos Martinez (15-9, 3.15) will oppose Pittsburgh RHP Tyler Glasnow (0-1, 4.91) in the opener of a three-game set on Friday at Busch Stadium. Martinez is 3-5 with a 4.01 ERA lifetime against Pittsburgh. Glasnow will be making his fourth start of the season.