ST. LOUIS -- With more hits in the first three innings Monday than they had in their last two games combined, the Cardinals pummeled starter Jeff Locke and held on to enough of that early double-digit lead to seal a 14-6 victory over the Marlins in Monday's series opener at Busch Stadium.
The Cardinals had their most productive first inning (four runs) of the season and sent 12 batters to the plate during a seven-run third that chased Locke. By the end of that inning, everyone in the Cardinals' lineup had reached base at least once and eight different batters had scored a run. A two-out, two-run double by Yadier Molina capped the third-inning scoring and ended Locke's night.
Big nights were also had by Luke Voit, who crushed his first Major League home run, and Tommy Pham, who reached base safely in all five plate appearances. The offense has scored 61 runs over the team's last nine games, of which the Cardinals have won seven.
"It's amazing. But a lot of guys have stepped up and contributed very well," Pham said. "The name of the game is to be fundamentally sound. Usually, if you get a good outing from your pitcher and play mistake-free baseball, you put yourself in a good chance to win that game."
The Marlins have not won any of Locke's seven starts this year, and the lefty will go at least a year between wins as a starter. Monday marked the second time in his career that he allowed 11 earned runs in a start. It had only been done once previously (Ricky Nolasco, 2011) by a Marlins starter.
"Obviously, nothing really went his way," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Locke. "He pretty much got hit around from the beginning. They didn't seem to miss anything. Everything they hit was falling. It was just one of those nights for him."
Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright, who contributed a key two-run hit in the third, cruised through his first four innings before enduring a rocky fifth. The Marlins batted around while putting up six runs in the inning. Three came via Marcell Ozuna's bases-clearing double. Justin Bour, vying for the Esurance MLB All-Star Final Vote, added an RBI double in the frame and had two hits.
Wainwright needed 31 pitches to get through the frame, but improved to 6-1 at home this season.
"We had that big inning today, we came back and scored some runs, but the damage had been done at that point," Locke said. "It was too late."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Unexpected contributor: Though already down, 5-0, the Marlins were hopeful of halting the Cardinals' third-inning momentum by setting up a matchup with Wainwright. Mattingly called for the intentional walk to load the bases ahead of the nine-hole hitter, but Wainwright promptly foiled those plans by lifting a two-run single to left-center field. The hit came off Wainwright's bat with an exit velocity of 102.9 mph. According to Statcast™, Wainwright has tallied five hits this season with exit velocities over 100 mph.
"I felt like I was going to get a hit as soon as he put him on," Wainwright said. "I felt like I had to hit it, hadn't hit in a few at-bats. It's about the right time." More >
The hit helped Wainwright improve to 6-for-13 with seven RBIs off Locke.
"Wainwright is a good hitter, I've got to make a better pitch to him than that," Locke said. "It got out of hand fast."
Weaver wiggles out of jam: After shaving the deficit to five, the Marlins threatened to creep closer in the sixth, which opened with consecutive singles by J.T. Realmuto and JT Riddle off reliever Luke Weaver. Weaver, who had been called up from Triple-A earlier in the day, retired the next two before Giancarlo Stanton lined a 2-0 changeup to center. The hit came off Stanton's bat with an exit velocity of 116.5 mph, but it was right at center fielder Pham, who made the catch to end the inning.
"He's going to have to continue to have some success to be able to trust his stuff like he needs to," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "There's still another level there of him trusting what he does have. But the stuff looked good, and he ended up getting out of a jam." More >
"One of those swings where you don't even feel it. Unbelievable feeling. Super pumped. It's been a dream since my first game coming here." -- Voit, on hitting his first Major League home run in his hometown
"I'm more frustrated that we're not winning than I'm not doing as well as I'd like to. It's a team sport. It's tough when you don't give the guys a chance to really fight." -- Locke
• At halfway point, Marlins' pitching woes persist
Cardinals third baseman Jedd Gyorko was removed from the game due to left leg cramping in the fifth inning. He said that he first felt a cramp when he drew a walk in his second plate appearance in the third. Prior to exiting, Gyorko reached base three times, drove in one and scored two runs.
"Yeah, it feels OK," Gyorko said. "We'll see how it feels [Tuesday], hopefully get some fluids in, do some stretching."
Marlins:Jose Urena (6-3, 3.42) gets the call on Tuesday at 2:15 p.m. ET in the second of four games at Busch Stadium. The right-hander has faced the Cardinals twice in his career, including one start in '16 when he was tagged for eight runs in 4 1/3 innings.
Cardinals:Lance Lynn will be making his second Independence Day start when he faces the Marlins in Tuesday's 1:15 p.m. CT game. Lynn is 4-0 with a 3.82 ERA in five career starts (seven appearances) vs. Miami.
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