The situation was playing out as well as the Cardinals could have asked for.

A day after scoring the chaotic and gutsy winning run in Game 3, Allen Craig was again at the plate to pinch hit, and his one-out 370-foot single off Koji Uehara gave the Cardinals life down two runs in the ninth.

There was no way Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was going to ask him to run the bases again.

Instead, he sent infielder Kolten Wong to pinch run for him.

A Matt Carpenter fly ball made it two outs, but with Carlos Beltran at the plate and Matt Holliday on deck, the Cardinals still liked their chances.

Beltran saw two pitches, and before he could even swing the game was over.

Uehara hadn't picked a runner off all year. He had only done it twice in his career. But he caught Wong slipping -- literally.

"Once I went to plant and go back, my back foot just gave out and I ended up falling short," Wong said.

After watching their pinch runner get picked off, the Cardinals had to swallow a 4-2 loss with the bat still in one of their best hitter's hands.

Wong was told to stay alert, Matheny said.

"He knew," Matheny said. "We had meetings early on. We go over all these guys. We talk very clearly about a very good pickoff move. He was reminded once he got on base, and also reminded that run didn't mean much, be careful, shorten up. And he got a little extra, then he slipped and the slip cost him."

It wasn't a matter of dozing off at the wheel, Wong said. He was just trying to get a head start if Beltran got a hold of one.

"I'm aware of what's going on," Wong said. "Just got a little too far off and my back foot slipped out. Just being ready to go first to third if Carlos drive me in, but I just got too far off and he made a good throw."