Despite early power surge, Cardinals lose in extras

June 19th, 2024

MIAMI -- The visiting clubhouse at loanDepot park was so quiet you could hear a pin -- or even batting gloves -- drop on Tuesday night. It was a somber mood as the Cardinals (36-36) had just fallen back to .500 following a 9-8 10th-inning loss to the Marlins.

It was St. Louis’ second extra-inning game in as many days, after the Cards snagged a 12th-inning win in the opener on Monday night.

This result, though, left the club feeling less-than-enthused -- as one would expect.

The Cardinals pulled ahead in the first inning, when crushed a two-run homer with one out. The knock, Goldschmidt’s 349th career home run, moved him past George Foster to No. 100 on the list of all-time homers in MLB.

But the lead that Goldschmidt’s blast garnered was all too short-lived. It seemed had no sooner taken the mound than the Marlins rallied with a pair of one-out singles to set up a three-run homer from Jesús Sánchez.

The first inning, in a way, serves as a microcosm for the entirety of Tuesday night’s game. Both teams came out swinging, and both starters got hit around. Lynn went 5 1/3 innings, and though it wasn’t the cleanest 5 1/3 innings -- he allowed six runs (five earned) on 10 hits -- it was the deepest Lynn has gone in a game since back-to-back six-inning starts at the end of May.

St. Louis went on to score in each of the first four innings for the first time since May 23, 2023, vs. Cincinnati, including homers from each of the first three batters in its lineup -- Goldschmidt in the first, Brendan Donovan in the second and Alec Burleson in the fourth.

“Both [Goldschmidt and Donovan] are feeling a lot better about where they're at,” manager Oliver Marmol said. “They've been working hard at it, so it's good to see it start to carry over. Donovan, even, to lead off the game, that hard line drive to short gets caught, so he's staying on the ball extremely well. …

“[Burleson has] taken really, really professional at-bats. I mean, using the whole field -- even today, that homer, that's tough for a lefty to hit it where he hit it. But he just continues to find barrels, he's done a nice job of that throughout the course of this year.”

The Cards pulled ahead to a 7-4 lead on Burleson’s knock, an opposite-field homer to lead off that fourth inning, his 10th long ball this year and the first extra-base hit against the Marlins of his career.

But like the Cards’ first-inning lead, this too was short-lived.

Lynn gave up his ninth homer of the season and second of the game with one out in the sixth inning, ending his outing. Five of the homers he has allowed this year have come vs. the Marlins.

“I actually threw the ball where I wanted to, just didn't have any success,” Lynn said. “Offense gave me runs early and I wasn't able to execute and not give up runs and let [the Marlins] right back in the ballgame.”

But Lynn’s line doesn’t fully portray his start. Just look at the fifth inning.

After inducing a leadoff flyout, Lynn gave up a trio of singles to load the bases. But thanks to solid defense, which didn’t allow any baserunners to advance further than a single base with each subsequent hit, Lynn had a chance to escape the bases-loaded jam.

And he did. Lynn struck out two to end the frame; up until the fifth, Lynn had only K’d two -- and both came as the third out of an inning. Lynn then struck out the first batter he faced in the sixth before giving up that solo homer to Christian Bethancourt.

“The pitch was where I wanted to go,” Lynn said. “He’s a career .090 hitter on that pitch. So sometimes, guys find the barrel. … My four-seam was good. I didn't really get beat with it a whole lot. So you know, breaking stuff's where I want to be movement-wise, so I just gotta, you know, plant it where I need to.”

What started as a slugfest -- for both teams -- ended on a walk-off single. Now, the Cardinals turn to the series finale with hopes of leaving Miami with smiles on their faces, back above .500.