Series Summary 7/28-31: Cardinals @ Marlins

Jeremy Hazelbaker.jpg

Photo is credited to Getty Images.

The Cardinals and Marlins, two teams in the hunt for a spot in the National League postseason picture, played four games at Marlins Park in Miami over the weekend.

Game One: Cardinals 5, Marlins 4 — WP: Michael Wacha (6-7) LP: Jose Fernandez (12-5) SV: Seung Hwan Oh (7)

The Cardinals were able to do something on Thursday that not many clubs have been able to: beat Marlins starter Jose Fernandez in Miami. On the strength of two home runs, the Cardinals did just that in the first game of the series, taking the first game of their four-game set in Miami, 5-4.

St. Louis received long balls from Aledmys Diaz and Matt Holliday, who now have fourteen and eighteen this season, respectively. On the other side of the baseball, Fernandez has allowed only ten home runs in his 20 starts for the Marlins this year.

Michael Wacha started the game for the Cardinals and gave the team a crisp, six-inning outing that preceded work from Jonathan Broxton, Kevin Siegrist, and Seung Hwan Oh, who combined to hurl three frames and allow one earned run on four hits over the game’s final innings.

Game Two: Cardinals 11, Marlins 6 — WP: Mike Leake (8-8) LP: Jose Urena (1-3)

Fueled by six runs in the fifth, the Cardinals took the second game in their series with the Marlins by an 11-6 score.

The Cardinals scored eight runs off Marlins starter Jose Urena, who worked 4.1 innings and allowed the aforementioned runs (all earned) on eight hits and four walks.

Three of the Cardinals’ eleven tallies on Friday were contributed by Tommy Pham, who went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs. Jeremy Hazelbaker and Kolten Wong did their part, too, as they each drove in a pair.

Notes:

-With no walks on Friday, Cardinals right-hander Mike Leake has not allowed a base on balls since June 30.

Game Three: Marlins 11, Cardinals 0 — WP: David Phelps (5-5) LP: Jaime Garcia (7-8)

A day after allowing eleven runs, the Marlins came back on Saturday and scored eleven of their own, routing the Cardinals by an 11-0 final score in the third game of the series.

The Marlins put up three crooked-number innings, including six earned runs off Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia, who was working on three days of rest for the first time in his career.

Garcia was lifted after recording an out in the fourth inning, and Tyler Lyons and Jerome Williams followed him. Lyons surrendered two runs before escaping the fourth, but Williams handled his work rather smoothly, giving St. Louis four innings and three runs, which were all unearned.

Notes:

-Marlins starter Collin Rea was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow soreness after leaving Saturday’s game prematurely. Rea left Saturday’s game in the fourth inning and was ineligible to pick up the win.

Prior to Sunday’s game, the Cardinals acquired left-handed relief pitcher Zack Duke from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Triple-A outfielder Charlie Tilson. Duke was 2-0 with a 2.63 earned run average in 37.2 innings out of the ‘pen for the White Sox; he will join the team in Cincinnati.

Game Four: Marlins 5, Cardinals 4 — WP: A.J. Ramos (1-0) LP: Matt Bowman (1-3)

The Cardinals unorthodoxly tied the game at four in the eighth inning, but the Marlins rebounded to win the game in walk-off fashion by a 5-4 score, splitting the four-game series at two apiece.

With two outs and Tommy Pham on first, Stephen Piscotty squared up a Fernando Rodney delivery and shot it to left field for a double, allowing Pham to score and cut the Marlins’ lead to 4-3. A throwing error by Marlins shortstop Adieny Hechavarria allowed Piscotty — who was well on his way to third — to score the game’s tying run.

St. Louis went with Matt Bowman in the ninth inning. Bowman recorded the first two outs quickly, but he got into trouble when Hechavarria reached on a base hit. Serving as a pinch-hitter, Derek Dietrich lined Bowman’s 0-1 pitch to left-center field, where Jeremy Hazelbaker nor Tommy Pham could corral it. Dietrich got three bases on the play, and the Marlins scored the game-winning run.

Notes:

-Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz exited the game in the first inning after being hit by a pitch on his right thumb; per the results of Sunday’s tests, Diaz did not sustain any fractures.

What’s next?

Cardinals: Following a day off on Monday, the Cardinals will begin a three-game series with the Reds in Cincinnati on Tuesday.

Marlins: The Marlins will commute to the Windy City, where the Cubs are waiting to kick off a three-game set with the Fish on Monday.

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