Matt Carpenter broke his 0-for-23 slump with a bases-loaded double during the Cardinals' decisive rally, and St. Louis ended a tough trip on the upswing by beating the Cincinnati Reds 15-2 on Sunday.
The Cardinals went 3-8 on a trip that included seven straight losses - four of them in Pittsburgh, allowing the Pirates to overtake them for the NL Central lead.
Even during their worst trip of the season, the Cardinals maintained their knack for beating the Reds.
St. Louis took two of three at Great American Ball Park and has won its last six series against Cincinnati. The Cardinals lead the season series 8-4.
Carpenter's two-run double off the wall completed a five-run rally in the sixth against Mike Leake (10-5) and two relievers.
Lance Lynn (13-5) allowed four hits in eight innings, including Zack Cozart's two-run homer.