Cardinals 3, Marlins 2
Lance Lynn pitched himself into big trouble, then got the
biggest out of his young career.
Lynn struck out Mike Stanton with the bases loaded to seal his
first major-league save, Lance Berkman’s second double of the game
brought home Albert Pujols with the go-ahead run in the eighth
inning, and the St. Louis Cardinals held on to beat the Florida
Marlins 3-2 on Friday night.
Called upon because regular closer Fernando Salas was
unavailable, Lynn gave up a hit and two walks in a 24-pitch
roller-coaster of a ninth, and held on anyway.
”A little out of control,” Lynn said. ”I was able to regroup
and get it done.”
Pujols doubled off Florida starter Anibal Sanchez (6-5) to lead
off the eighth, and Berkman drove Sanchez’s final pitch of the game
into center field to put St. Louis on top. Matt Holliday hit his
18th home run for St. Louis and Mitchell Boggs (1-3) threw a
scoreless seventh for the win.
”I was excited. Something for Lance, something for Boggs, his
first win, mostly our team and the excitement of the moment,”
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. ”You’re facing the next
young superstar in our league with the bases loaded and nowhere to
go with him and you end up getting a punchout, that’s a dramatic
Stanton had three hits, including a triple, and stole a base for
the Marlins, who had a serious chance in the ninth.
Joe Thurston, selected earlier in the day by Florida from
Triple-A New Orleans and back in the majors for the first time
since 2009, singled to lead off the bottom of the ninth and the
Marlins had runners on first and second after Dewayne Wise drew a
But Lynn – called on to close after Salas needed a combined 51
pitches in appearances Tuesday and Thursday – struck out Emilio
Bonifacio on a 95 mph fastball, then, after walking Greg Dobbs on
four pitches to load the bases, got Stanton swinging.
Sanchez gave up eight hits and three runs while striking out
seven in 7 1-3 innings, and it still wasn’t enough to snap what now
is a 10-game winless streak for the right-hander. He batted in the
seventh, the Marlins clearly thinking he had one more inning of
work left against the heart of the Cardinals’ order.
The move backfired after Pujols and Berkman doubled two batters
apart, and the Marlins lost for the sixth time in their last eight
”Albert got the better of him in that situation,” Marlins
manager Jack McKeon said. ”When you get in those situations you
can’t let the big guys hurt you. Find a way.”
St. Louis starter Jake Westbrook gave up two runs and six hits
in six innings, throwing 106 pitches on the steamy 89-degree night
to help take some burden off a weary Cardinals bullpen.
The Marlins are already ailing up-the-middle defensively, with
second baseman Omar Infante going on the disabled list Friday with
a broken finger and shortstop Hanley Ramirez still dealing with a
sprained left shoulder – and another blow came Friday, when center
fielder Mike Cameron sprained his left hand.
Cameron was shaken up trying to make a diving catch, appearing
to twist his wrist in the turf and writhing in pain for a few
moments. Cameron remained in the game until the bottom of the
sixth, when he was replaced by pinch-hitter Bryan Petersen.
Cameron was 2 for 2, raising his average to .177 for the season,
.219 in 21 games with Florida.
”It got to the point where I didn’t want to make myself look
like a fool swinging with one hand,” Cameron said. ”It just got
kind of worse over the course of the game. I just decided not to
take any more chances.”
Florida opened the scoring in the third when Stanton – batting
third for the first time in his career, just as Logan Morrison
debuted in the cleanup spot – hit an RBI triple to the gap in
right-center to score Dobbs. Morrison nearly made it 2-0, but
Pujols ranged to his right to snare a sharp grounder that he
flipped to Westbrook covering the bag to end the inning.
St. Louis took the lead in the fourth on Holliday’s leadoff
homer, a double by Berkman and a run-scoring single two batters
later by Gerald Laird. Buck pulled Florida into a 2-2 tie with an
RBI single in the home half of the fourth.
Notes: Cardinals 3B David Freese said he was feeling a bit
better Friday, one day after taking a pitch to the helmet and
getting a mild concussion. The Cardinals don’t anticipate placing
him on the DL, and Freese could be back in the lineup in a couple
days. … Florida RHP Ricky Nolasco is scheduled to start against
St. Louis for the seventh time in his career Saturday night, still
seeking his first win against the club. Nolasco is 0-3 with a 7.06
ERA all-time against the Cardinals, giving up 10 hits and seven
runs over five innings in each of his last two outings against
them. … RHP Chris Carpenter starts for St. Louis on Saturday. The
Cardinals are 10-13 in his 23 appearances this season, matching the
number of losses they had in Carpenter’s 35 starts a year ago. He
hasn’t beaten the Marlins since Aug. 29, 2005.