SPRINGFIELD - Stephen Wrenn belted two home runs Thursday night, including a game-winning two run shot in the 12th, which vaulted Corpus Christi to a 9-8 victory before 5,210 fans at Hammons Field.
The Hooks (32-21) have won five in a row, and seven of their last nine games.
Facing St. Louis ace Carlos Martinez, Corpus Christi jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second thanks to solo homers by Randy Cesar and Wrenn.
The dinger extended Cesar's hitting streak to 23 games. He has gone deep three times in his last four contests.
Cionel Perez seized the advantage by striking out seven over five shutout frames. Perez owns a 0.92 ERA in his last nine appearances, striking out 53 in 39.1 innings.
Jorge Alcala, making his Double-A debut, struck out two and stranded two in the sixth before pitching a 1-2-3 seventh.
Alcala and the Hooks carried a 3-0 lead into the eighth. The first four Cardinals reached, including Lane Thomas who sent a two-run single up the middle. They tying run scored on a throwing error charged to catcher Lorenzo Quintana who was attempting to throw out a runner stealing second.
Springfield (27-26) reliever Chris Ellis struck out 10 while holding the Hooks to one run from the fifth through the ninth. Corpus Christi finally broke through in the 10th. Run-scoring doubles by Taylor Jones and Ryne Brik put the Hooks up, 5-3. Wrenn's RBI single into right field made it a three-run game.
The Cards answered with three in the home half against Sean Stutzman. Springfield put four on base to begin the frame. Evan Mendoza worked a bases-loaded walk and Chris Chinea lined a two-run single into left, squaring the score at 6. Stutzman retired the next three hitters, leaving a pair in scoring position.
The clubs traded runs in the 11th, giving Wrenn a chance to win it in the 12th. With the automatic runner at second and one away, he launched a 1-0 pitch from Landon Beck onto the berm in left field.
It marked Wrenn's third home run in the last two nights.
Lefty Chris Nunn (2-0) held the line in the bottom half. With a run home and the tying run a second and winning run at first, Nunn struck out Tommy Edman and produced a fly ball from Thomas Spitz to end the ballgame.
The Hooks continue their TL North road trip with a three-game set in Tulsa. Lefty Framber Valdez (2-1, 5.32) is slated to start Friday's series opener. First pitch 7:05.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.