4-run fifth helps push Marlins past Cardinals
ST. LOUIS -- The Marlins staved off a season sweep by the Cardinals by nabbing a 6-4 victory at Busch Stadium before leaving town on Sunday. A four-run fifth inning, punctuated by Derek Dietrich's bases-loaded triple, helped the Marlins erase an early two-run hole and cover an early departure from starter David Phelps.
Phelps exited with right elbow discomfort after allowing a third-inning homer to Jason Heyward, who had already taken Phelps deep in the first inning. Behind him, the Marlins bullpen pieced together 6 2/3 innings of coverage in which it allowed just one run.
"I just got a pitch that I could hit, and I'm glad I got some guys across the plate there," Dietrich said.
That gave the Marlins sufficient time to climb back against Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez, who had his pursuit of win No. 13 halted. Over five innings, Martinez allowed five runs. Only one was earned, however, as the first of Kolten Wong's two errors preceded Dietrich's triple. A replay review in the Marlins' favor also complicated the inning for Martinez.
"One of those uncharacteristic innings that just got away from us," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of the fifth. "You try to get your pitcher to get through it somehow to pick up the other guys, but it was just one of those things that we couldn't make happen."
"They have the best record in the game for a reason," Miami manager Dan Jennings said of St. Louis. "They play the game the right way. We took advantage of two mistakes that they made, that they usually don't make. That cat on the mound is pretty tough. So we knew we were going to be in for a battle. We grinded out at-bats."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Dietrich's three-run triple: The Marlins were hurt by three St. Louis home runs. Miami did most of its damage with a three-run triple by Dietrich in a four-run fifth. Looking for run-production in the middle of the lineup, Dietrich got the nod to hit third on Sunday, and he delivered his first triple of the season, which cleared the bases and gave Miami the lead for good.
"We got guys in scoring position," Dietrich said. "Early on, Martinez was pretty sharp. He made some pretty good pitches to me and some other guys. I had the slider in the back of my mind from the first at-bat."
Through the wickets: A grounder that Wong looked to turn into a double play instead rolled right past him to set the stage for the Marlins' big fifth inning. Instead of turning two with the pitcher on deck, Wong's 11th error of the season left Martinez to deal with two runners on and no outs. The Marlins went on to score four times in the frame. Wong would fumble another potential double play ball that led to a sixth-inning Miami run.
"It's just one of those games where things sped up on me," Wong said. "It wasn't my day. I have made that play hundreds of times. … I'm the type of guy who takes defense very seriously, so it's tough." More >
Phelps experiences elbow discomfort: Phelps, raised in St. Louis, had his family at the park on Sunday. But the start ended up being a short one for the right-hander, who exited after 2 1/3 innings, due to right elbow discomfort. Phelps was lifted one pitch after allowing his second home run to Heyward on the day. Chris Narveson replaced Phelps and gave Miami 2 2/3 innings, allowing one run. After the game it was announced that Phelps would be placed on the DL and a corresponding move would be made on Monday. More >
Narveson picked up his first big league win since April 10, 2012 at Chicago, when he was with Milwaukee -- a span of three-years, four months, six days. "You've always got to be prepared down there, anything can happen," Narveson said.
J-Hey's deja vu: Heyward, homerless since launching home runs on back-to-back days in Miami on June 23-24, ended that drought with his first multi-homer game as a Cardinal. Heyward went deep off Phelps in the first and third. The first was a solo shot and the second a two-run blast. Heyward now has more career homers (11) against the Marlins than he does versus any other club.
"It was a good start to give [Martinez] some runs early," Heyward said. "The first one, I missed it a little bit. The second one was just a line drive, not trying to do too much." More >
"I was really trying to drive the ball in that at-bat. Luckily, I guessed right with that one. The little girl who got it gave it back, so a thank you to her. Obviously, it was very nice of her to do that. It's something special that I'll keep forever." -- Cardinals outfielder Stephen Piscotty, who hit his first Major League home run
"I thought we may audition some of you [media] guys, to see if you can pitch," -- Jennings, joking about the rash of pitching injuries depleting the roster.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Narveson's sacrifice bunt RBI in the four-run fifth inning was his first MLB RBI since Sept. 25, 2011. Then, he was with the Brewers, facing the Marlins.
After the game, Matheny disclosed the he pulled Randal Grichuk out of the game before the eighth inning after Grichuk alerted the staff to discomfort in his right elbow. Grichuk will undergo an MRI on Monday to determine the severity of the injury. He had been 0-for-2 with a walk on the day. More >
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
A critical review came in the fifth inning when Miami challenged an out call at home. After a review of two-minutes, 50-seconds the call was overturned. With first and third and no outs, Narveson dropped a squeeze bunt. Martinez sprung off the mound for St. Louis, and flipped home to Yadier Molina, who applied the tag on Adeiny Hechavarria. But after the review, the call was overturned, and Miami cashed in with a four-run inning.
The Cardinals thwarted the Marlins' momentum in the seventh by successfully challenging Dietrich's steal of second. Initially ruled safe, the umpires overturned the call after a two-minute, 25-second review. Randy Choate then closed the inning with a groundball out.
Marlins: The Marlins open a three-game set on Monday at Milwaukee, a team they haven't faced this season. Rookie left-hander Justin Nicolino (1-1, 4.86) will make his fourth big league start in the game that starts at 8:10 p.m. ET. The Brewers counter with veteran Matt Garza (6-12, 4.82).
Cardinals: In a rematch of the 2014 National League Championship Series, the Cardinals and Giants will square off on Monday for the first of six games between the two teams over the next 14 days. Michael Wacha will start for St. Louis on Monday in search of his 15th win. First pitch is scheduled for 7:09 p.m. CT.
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