A grand slam put the brakes on Kyle Lohse's streak of 22 consecutive scoreless innings. A derogatory comment from the Florida Marlins' dugout after the next at-bat drove the St. Louis Cardinals' pitcher to keep grinding.
Lohse was hurt by the long ball in a 6-5 loss Monday night, giving up a pair of home runs while squandering a pair of leads. Manager Tony La Russa gave the pitcher points for guts after Lohse absorbed Mike Stanton's liner near his right shin and elected to stay in the game.
"Guys lose their minds sometimes and think it's funny when someone gets drilled," Lohse said. "It's not their team, it's probably just one individual and I don't know who it was or why he needed to say something.
"It was kind of quiet so you could hear it."
La Russa said Lohse "got blasted pretty well," but both the manager and Lohse believe it will not affect the pitcher's next start.
"He could have limped off the field when he got blasted and he stayed in there," La Russa said. "He got smoked pretty well."
Stanton hit a tying homer in the fifth and tripled and scored the go-ahead run in the eighth. Gaby Sanchez ended Lohse's streak with his first career grand slam, also Florida's major league-leading third of the year.
Edward Mujica (3-1) allowed a walk in two scoreless innings and Leo Nunez finished for his 10th save in 10 tries after the Cardinals put two men on in the ninth. The Marlins improved to 18-9 — the franchise's best start — and are tied with the Phillies for the NL East lead.
Lance Berkman homered and had four RBIs for the Cardinals, who were limited to one hit and four walks the last five innings against the Florida bullpen. Berkman was named NL player of the week for the second time this season earlier Monday, both off big showings on the road, and is batting .406 with nine homers and 27 RBIs.
Only twice has Berkman gotten to nine homers faster, also his two biggest years from that standpoint. In 2002, it took him 16 games en route to 42 homers; in 2006, he needed 22 games while finishing with 45 homers.
Stanton hit his second career triple on a hooking liner that glanced off center fielder Colby Rasmus' glove leading off the eighth against Mitchell Boggs (0-2) and scored easily on Gregg Dobbs' sacrifice fly. Lacking a double for the cycle, Stanton struck out against Miguel Batista with two men on to end the ninth.
The Marlins' previous 14 runs the last two games were all scored off homers.
Lohse allowed three earned runs in 31 1-3 innings in winning his previous four starts, and the streak was the majors' longest this season. He needed only 17 pitches to sail through two innings and led 2-0 off RBI singles from Berkman and Yadier Molina in the first before running into trouble on a rally begun on pitcher Chris Volstad's one-out single.
Hanley Ramirez walked with two outs to load the bases for Sanchez, who belted a 2-2 delivery an estimated 422 feet off the back of the wall in the visitor's bullpen in left for his fourth homer.
The Cardinals regained the lead on Berkman's three-run homer in the bottom of the third, his ninth overall and first at home. Berkman is batting .450 at home with two homers and seven RBIs, and .375 with eight homers and 20 RBIs on the road.
Stanton homered for the second straight game, re-tying it in the fifth with a liner just inside the left-field foul pole on an 0-2 pitch.
Volstad struck out none for the first time since Aug. 28, 2009, a span of 37 starts. He totaled 14 strikeouts his first four outings this year.
Ryan Theriot's infield hit, aided by Ramirez' double-pump from short, put runners at the corners with two outs before Rasmus grounded out. Theriot had his fifth three-hit day.
Notes: Lohse allowed only one homer his first five starts. ... 3B Daniel Descalso and Pujols each made a nice play on Ramirez' chopper leading off the fifth, Descalso charging to glove it and then Pujols scooping it up on one bounce. ... Matt Holliday grounded into the Cardinals' 39th double play, by far the most in the majors, in the fifth. ... Volstad had two starts without a strikeout in 2009, one against St. Louis. ... The Marlins are 14-4 in Volstad's last 18 starts. ... Cardinals SS Theriot committed his eighth error, botching a grounder in the first. He entered the game tied for the most in the majors.