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

one-out walk.

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

home games.

”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.