After the final party at home plate, reality set in: They might be without Yadier Molina the rest of the way.
Wong hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the ninth inning and the resilient Cardinals beat the San Francisco Giants 5-4 Sunday night.
The Cardinals came back after losing Molina to a strained oblique muscle in the sixth. The All-Star catcher was getting further tests and manager Mike Matheny said it "didn't look real good."
"We'll wait and see and right now we'll just go ahead and keep celebrating a very tough, hard-fought win. I am real proud at how these guys kept coming," Matheny said.
After the Giants tied it on a wild pitch, Wong hit an 0-1 delivery from Sergio Romo for his second big home run this postseason. The rookie's seventh-inning drive was the decisive blow in Game 3 of the NL Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
St. Louis, last in the NL with 105 home runs during the regular season, has hit 11 homers in six playoff games -- seven in the seventh inning or later. Earlier, Matt Carpenter connected for the fourth time this postseason.
"We just knew we had to keep grinding," Wong said. "When you lose someone like Yadi, it's definitely tough for us, but we told ourselves we've been going through this all year. Grinding up and down, not getting any easy pass, so we're all so confident."
It was a rare postseason failure for the reliable San Francisco bullpen, which allowed a home run in each of the final three innings.
"They are the reason we're in this situation, and you give (the Cardinals) credit," manager Bruce Bochy said. "They threw out some good at-bats and we made a couple of mistakes and they took advantage of them."
The Giants made it 4-all when pinch-runner Matt Duffy dashed home from second base on a two-out wild pitch in the ninth. San Francisco wound up losing for just the second time in its last 14 postseason games.
Maness came on after closer Trevor Rosenthal couldn't hold a one-run lead. Rosenthal's pitch bounced off the glove off backup catcher Tony Cruz and Duffy, running on a full count, never broke stride and slid home with the tying run.
Molina bent over in pain after a swing and didn't make it out of the batter's box on a double-play ball in the sixth. Wincing, he gingerly walked off the field.
The Giants came back against Lance Lynn.
Giants: Hudson pitched well vs. Washington in Game 2 of the Division Series, allowing a run in 7 1-3 innings.
Cardinals: Lackey has a win each of the last three postseason series and is the active leader with 111 postseason innings.