MIAMI (AP) — The Miami Marlins found themselves in a slugfest Saturday with the best-hitting team in the NL.
Carlos Beltran homered from each side of the plate and tripled, and Lance Lynn notched his ninth victory when the St. Louis Cardinals beat Miami 13-7.
Miami fell behind 5-0 in the first inning, then rallied to reach 6-all in the second. But the lowest-scoring team in the majors couldn’t keep up after that.
“We just weren’t able to hold them off long enough to give ourselves a chance,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “But it’s tough to hold those guys down, because they have a pretty good offense.”
Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run homer for Miami, his fifth, while Rob Brantly had two hits and three RBIs. Stanton said the Marlins responded to the early deficit better than they would have early in the season.
“Earlier that would have been dead energy in the dugout, and we would have just accepted the loss already,” he said. “It was good to snap right back and get in it again right away.”
The Marlins never took the lead, though. Tom Koehler (0-5), facing the Cardinals for the first time, allowed a career-high nine runs in 4 2-3 innings.
“You can’t take any pitches off,” Koehler said. “Just because you get ahead (in the count) doesn’t mean you can come back and lay something over there for the next pitch, because they’re going to punch it. So you have to execute every pitch.”
The Marlins didn’t do that facing Beltran. Swinging left-handed, he hit his 15th home run in the second inning and tripled for the first time since May 2012 in the eighth. He hit another home run from the right side in the ninth — the 11th time he has homered from both sides in a game.
Beltran extended the longest active hitting streak in the NL to 14 games as the Cardinals tied a season high with 17 hits.
But even for the St. Louis hitters, the game was no fun, Beltran said.
“I felt like I was out there playing defense for four hours,” he said. “It’s one of those days where you have to grind and try to find a way to stay in the game.”
Manager Mike Matheny agreed.
“It felt like a doubleheader,” he said.
Yadier Molina singled home two runs in the Cardinals’ five-run first inning, and David Freese’s fourth homer in the third inning put them ahead to stay.
Lynn (9-1) allowed a career-high seven runs in five innings against the lowest-scoring team in the majors, but his two-run single hit in the fifth inning gave the Cardinals a three-run lead to help them pull away.
It’s the fifth time this season the Cardinals have scored at least nine runs when Lynn has started. But while the outburst by the Cardinals’ potent attack was no surprise, Lynn’s hit was a shocker.
A two-out single off Ryan Webb raised Lynn’s lifetime average to .077. He came into the game with five hits and one RBI in 76 career at-bats.
But Lynn’s pitching performance left him in no mood to smile about his hitting.
“It was a bad day,” he said. “I was fighting it the whole time. I only had one pitch, the fastball. When I threw it they got hits, and I wasn’t able to get other pitches over for strikes.”
After Juan Pierre led off Miami’s first with a triple, Ed Lucas and Adeiny Hechavarria had RBI singles, and Brantly hit a two-run single.
Stanton’s homer in the second inning made it 6-all. He also had a single and hiked his average to .263 after a miserable start to the season and a monthlong layoff because of a strained right hamstring.
“This is a good as I’ve seen him all year,” Redmond said. “He’s going to the plate with a lot of confidence right now, and that’s fun to watch.”
NOTES: Marlins 1B Logan Morrison said his stiff back felt better, but he was held out of the lineup for the second day in a row, and he might sit out Sunday, too. … Molina’s hit raised the Cardinals’ average with the bases loaded to .379 (22 for 58). … Miami rookie SS Hechavarria has committed just two errors to rank fourth in the majors in fielding at his position. … RHP Ricky Nolasco, who faces the Cardinals on Sunday, hasn’t allowed an earned run in his past 18 2-3 innings against them.