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Second-inning slam all Marlins need

Brad Davis, Florida Marlins (AP Photo)
Brad Davis is congratulated after hitting a grand slam in the second inning Monday.
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MIAMI (AP)

Chris Volstad threw a five-hitter for his second career shutout, Brad Davis hit a grand slam off Chris Carpenter and the Florida Marlins dealt St. Louis' dimming playoff hopes a blow by beating the Cardinals 4-0 on Monday.

The loss dropped St. Louis 6 1/2 games behind Cincinnati in the NL Central. The Reds play later at Milwaukee.

Monday's game was a makeup following a rainout on Aug. 8, and the teams needed only 1 hour, 52 minutes to finish - it was the fastest game in Marlins' history, by two minutes.

Davis' first career slam came in the second inning, the first surrendered by Carpenter (15-8) in 3,699 at-bats since June 12, 2004.

Volstad (10-9) struck out three for the Marlins, who lost the first six games of their current homestand.

His other shutout was July 8, 2009 at San Francisco. The Cardinals are now just 12-23 since Aug. 13.

Carpenter gave up five hits and struck out six in six innings, but made one giant mistake to Davis.

Dan Uggla started the Florida second inning with a double, and that, combined with a walk to Gaby Sanchez and an intentional pass two batters later to Mike Stanton, loaded the bases for Davis, who'd been a mere 0 for 2 in that situation in his brief major league career.

No matter. He sent Carpenter's 2-0 offering over the high wall in left field, giving the Marlins the lead.

From there, it was all Volstad. The Cardinals never got a runner past second against him and went 0 for 8 when they were in scoring position. He needed only 93 pitches to get through seven innings, and Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez decided to let him bat instead of going to the bullpen.

Volstad rewarded him with a 1-2-3 eighth. And after a two-out double to Yadier Molina in the ninth, he ended it by getting pinch-hitter Mark Hamilton to line out to center.

Ozzie Martinez made his first major league start for Florida at shortstop after Emilio Bonifacio was a late scratch with left hamstring tightness. Martinez was shot three times - a victim of mistaken identity - in his native Puerto Rico a little more than 11 months ago, but the bullets didn't pierce any organs and he was able to recover in time for spring training.

Martinez went 1 for 4 after spending most of this season in the minors before getting called up for the first time Sunday.

Notes: Florida left fielder Logan Morrison singled, extending his streak of reaching base to 39 straight games, three away of matching Mark Teixeira for the longest stretch in the majors this season. ... Carpenter's given up 21 home runs this season, 14 more than he yielded in 2009. ... Marlins SS Hanley Ramirez took batting practice, but Rodriguez isn't sure when - or if - he'll be back in the lineup this season. He wore a protective wrap over his sore elbow.

Tagged: Cardinals, Marlins, Chris Carpenter, Chris Volstad

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