It was a night when Cardinals rookie Oscar Taveras, who was benched recently for inattentive and indifferent baserunning, ran the bases with gusto and actually was even too aggressive.

It was a night when the Cardinals’ bullpen was both awful and stunning in the same inning and then just as good for the next hour and a half. And it was a night when Phillies center fielder Ben Revere kicked a ball over the wall, costing the Cardinals a potential triple by Kolten Wong.

In the end, it was a night when the Cardinals finally nudged across a run in the 12th inning and Matt Holliday made a dazzling running catch in the bottom half to preserve a 6-5 win that moved them one-half game off the Milwaukee Brewers’ lead in the National League Central Division race.

The Cardinals had the better chances all night but cashed in the last one in the 12th, sparked by another pinch-hit walk by Daniel Descalso, who has had three in his last nine plate appearances as a pinch hitter. Jon Jay sacrificed and Peter Bourjos, who was deprived of an infield hit on a challenged call in the 10th, beat out another high hopper to short without a throw.

Matt Carpenter’s sacrifice fly to left scored Descalso and made a winner out of Seth Maness, who pitched brilliantly out of the bullpen, as did Sam Freeman and, especially Pat Neshek after Randy Choate had encountered turbulence in the eighth when the Phillies tied the score at 5-5.