Marlins 4, Cardinals 2

Javier Vazquez and the Florida Marlins are gaining momentum in

the final days of spring training.

Vazquez pitched 6 2-3 innings of five-hit ball and the Marlins

beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 on Tuesday to extend their

unbeaten streak to 10 games.

Florida, which had a nine-game slide earlier in camp, hasn’t

lost since March 18. It has nine wins and a tie in its last 10


”It is important so that we can take that into the season,”

said manager Edwin Rodriguez, whose team is 15-14-1 going into its

final spring game Wednesday against the New York Mets.

”The main guys seem like they’re ready. We’re very happy with

the way everything went.”

Vazquez allowed one run, struck out four and walked one. The

right-hander, who went 1-1 with a 4.57 ERA in five spring starts,

will make his season debut Sunday against the Mets.

Vazquez’s velocity was down last year during a disappointing

season with the New York Yankees. That hasn’t been an issue so far

with the Marlins.

”The last few starts, I thought the life on my fastball was

there,” said Vazquez, who has ranged from 89-91 mph this spring.

”I’m not worried about that. I’m just worried about the location

and the life on my pitches and right now my pitches have pretty

good life.”

Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia struck out seven over six

sparkling innings in his best start of the spring. He gave up one

run and three hits.

Garcia, St. Louis’ No. 3 starter, came into the game with a 7.94


Colby Rasmus homered in the first inning for the Cardinals.

The Marlins scored their first run in the fourth inning when

Hanley Ramirez bounced into a double play after the first two

batters singled. Ramirez bounced into two double plays in the


Florida added three more runs in the eighth inning. Scott

Cousins had an RBI double and Aaron Mathews hit a sacrifice


NOTES: The Marlins optioned RHP Burke Badenhop to Triple-A New

Orleans after the game. … OF Cousins won the Marlins’ final bench

spot over Dewayne Wise, who was reassigned to minor league camp.

Wise, who has been bothered the last 10 days by a sore big toe on

his left foot, planned to wait a day or two before deciding whether

to accept the assignment.