ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals' defense wasn't completely collected and starter Jack Flaherty struggled in an 11-3 loss to the Marlins on Wednesday night. Yairo Munoz had three errors at shortstop, while Flaherty and the bullpen combined to give up 17 hits."You just don't see those kinds of mistakes happen.
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals' defense wasn't completely collected and starter Jack Flaherty struggled in an 11-3 loss to the Marlins on Wednesday night. Yairo Munoz had three errors at shortstop, while Flaherty and the bullpen combined to give up 17 hits.
"You just don't see those kinds of mistakes happen. I thought we had a nice work day today to address some of the things we didn't get right [Tuesday]," manager Mike Matheny said. "Once again, sometimes it's going to be mental mistakes, other times it's going to be physical. Continue to work, that's all you do."
Flaherty allowed six runs (four earned) on eight hits and a walk with six strikeouts, and the Cardinals' offense couldn't keep up.
"When [Flaherty] is right, he's got so many different ways to get you out," Matheny said. "I don't think he had his best stuff today. We've seen him a couple times do that and still be able to keep us in games, and today it just got out of hand."
The Cardinals gave up three runs in the third inning. Derek Dietrich crushed a two-run homer and J.T. Realmuto scored on a fielder's choice. The Cards got back into the game when Jose Martinez hit an RBI double in the third and Munoz had a sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to 3-2 in the fourth.
But the Marlins scored another three runs in the fifth to stretch their lead. After Flaherty walked Justin Bour to put runners on first and second with two outs, Matheny came to the mound for a visit. But Brian Anderson had an RBI double, another run scored on a Munoz error and JT Riddle had an RBI single to push Miami's lead to 6-2.
"I think one of those could've been not ruled an error, another one was a weird hop that just hit something funny and got up on top of him and one of them was a bad throw," Matheny said of Munoz's three errors. "As much as the rest of us, he's got to let them go and get back in there. He's been playing well for us, taking big at-bats, and he's a better defender than what he's shown."
The bullpen struggled after Flaherty's exit. Brett Cecil allowed two runs on three hits in the sixth, and Preston Guilmet allowed two runs in the seventh. John Brebbia pitched a clean eighth, before the Cardinals sent infielder Jedd Gyorko to the mound for his first career pitching appearance in the ninth. Gyorko allowed a home run to Lewis Brinson, who went deep twice.
"That was at a spot where we just don't want to hurt any pitchers either, realizing we've still got games to play," Matheny said. "Jedd was very unselfish, how he came up to us and said 'I'll pitch that last inning,' so I'm just happy to see him not get hurt."
Martinez went 3-for-3 with a pair of RBIs and a walk to lead the Cardinals' offense.
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Error proves costly: A one-run inning turned into a three-run frame for the Marlins, when Munoz made a costly throwing error in the fifth. Flaherty was struggling to get out of the inning, but he set up the Cardinals' defense perfectly with a routine ground ball from Miguel Rojas. Munoz fielded the ball, but he threw it off the bag to Martinez. Rojas was safe, and Bour scored, followed by another run on Riddle's RBI single the next at-bat.
Gyorko became the first Cardinals position player to pitch in a game since Ruben Tejada on May 20, 2016.
Miles Mikolas takes the mound for Thursday's series finale against the Marlins at Busch Stadium at 12:15 p.m. CT. The right-hander took his first loss of the season last time out, despite allowing only one earned run in six innings against the Pirates. Mikolas has a 1.79 ERA over his last nine starts. Trevor Richards will be recalled from Triple-A to start for the Marlins.
Sean Collins is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Louis.