"You just had that feeling," he said. "Every one of those guys said, 'We've got you.'
Jose Martinez homered and singled and Paul DeJong added a two-run double during a 10-run rally in the sixth inning, and the St. Louis Cardinals overcame a seven-run deficit Friday night for a wild 12-11 win over the Cincinnati Reds.
Down 7-0, the Cardinals put together their biggest inning of the season on the way to their sixth win in seven games.
Wainwright was rocked for nine hits and seven runs in 3 1/3 innings but ran out in shorts and a T-shirt to pass out high fives after the big inning.
"There wouldn't have been a comeback if I hadn't pitched terrible," he added, jokingly.
Jesse Winker hit a two-out, two-run single in the ninth off Cardinals closer Carlos Martinez. But Joey Votto grounded out with runners at the corners to give Martinez his seventh save.
Journeyman catcher Ryan Lavarnway hit two homers, doubled and drove in a career-high six runs for Cincinnati in his first game in the majors this season. Released by the Yankees this week after hitting .213 in a Triple-A backup role, Lavarnway was signed by the Reds after a series of injuries left them thin behind the plate.
The 31-year-old Lavarnway, who had played a total of 12 games in the big leagues in the last four seasons, went 3 for 4 with a walk.
Wainwright's career ERA against the Reds jumped from 5.01 to 5.31, his worst against major league team.
Michael Wacha (6-4) wound up with the win, allowing three hits in 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
Jose Martinez had an infield single that loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth against Tyler Mahle. After DeJong's two-run double off Matt Bowman made it 7-5, a two-out error by Votto at first base let the Cardinals tie it.
Martinez capped the comeback with a three-run homer off Jared Hughes (3-3).
DeJong added a long two-run homer in the seventh, his second in two nights off Robert Stephenson.
"We can get the homers late to bury teams, but passing the baton is huge," DeJong said. "Getting base hits and infield singles is a way we can score runs."
Lavarnway hit a three-run homer in the fourth that finished Wainwright for his first home run in the big leagues since Aug. 23, 2015, for Atlanta. Lavarnway added a two-run shot in the eighth for his first multihomer game since hitting two for Boston on Sept. 27, 2011.
"I was just enjoying it," he said. "I've been up and down so many times. You never know when it's going to be your last one. Earlier in my career, I didn't let myself enjoy the highs. I tried to be stoic. I tried to be Jason Varitek. I'm like a cat with nine lives right now. I'm grateful for the opportunity."
The Cardinals rode a big sixth to a win for the second straight night. They scored five in the sixth on Thursday to grab a 7-3 lead on the way to a 7-4 win.
Cincinnati 3B Eugenio Suarez and manager David Bell were ejected between the first and second innings by plate umpire Carlos Torres for arguing balls and strikes. Bell's ejection was a club-record seventh of the season, breaking a tie with Clark Griffith, who had six each in 1909 and 1910. The Reds lead the majors with 15 ejections.
Jose Peraza made his first career appearance at third base after Suarez's ejection, pushing to five the number of positions he's played this season. Peraza has appeared at shortstop, second base, left field and center field.
Lavarnway became the first player with six RBIs in his Reds debut since RBIs became an official statistic in 1920, according to the Reds.
Cincinnati allowed as many as 10 runs in an inning for the first time since July 26, 2015, in the third inning at Coors Field.
Cardinals: OF Marcell Ozuna can resume baseball activities after the swelling in his injured right hand decreased and he went through an encouraging workout on Thursday at Busch Stadium. He's been out since June 29 with hand and finger fractures. . The Cardinals hope INF Matt Carpenter can start a minor league rehab assignment sometime in the next week. Carpenter went on the 10-day IL on June 16 with a right foot contusion.
Reds: LHP Alex Wood, out all season with lower back problems, is scheduled to throw a bullpen in Cincinnati on Saturday to get ready for his fourth rehab start on Monday for Double-A Chattanooga at Birmingham.
Cardinals: The Reds roughed up RHP Miles Mikolas (6-9) for six hits, including three home runs, and four runs in five innings of a 12-1 St. Louis loss on April 26.
Reds: RHP Luis Castillo (9-3) pitching six innings of two-hit, one-run ball in a 4-1 Cincinnati win at St. Louis on June 4.
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