Miami, FL – Ricky Nolasco dazzled St. Louis hitters over seven strong innings as the Miami Marlins cruised past the Cardinals, 7-2, in the rubber match of a three-game set at Marlins Park.
Nolasco (4-7) scattered three hits and allowed just on run to earn his first win since May 19.
Placido Polanco, Justin Ruggiano and Juan Pierre each drove in a pair of runs for the Marlins, winners in five of their last eight games.
"Pierre had a big hit, and seems like anybody we're putting up in those kind of situations is coming through for us. I think guys sense that and you can just kind of see the confidence," said Marlins manager Mike Redmond.
Tyler Lyons (2-3) was pegged with the loss after giving up six runs on eight hits over 5 1/3 innings.
"I made some mistakes with guys on base. You can't walk the pitcher, just little things like that. I just never got in a groove all day," Lyons said.
Jon Jay and Matt Adams drove in one run apiece for the Cardinals, who dropped just their third series of the season.
Miami plated a pair of runs in the first inning. Pierre reached on a leadoff single then moved to third after Giancarlo Stanton smoked a double off the fence in left field. Ruggiano followed with a base hit to right-center to plate both runners.
The Cards got on the board in the third inning. Daniel Descalso singled, moved to second on Lyons' sacrifice bunt before advancing to third on a wild pitch. After Matt Carpenter walked to put runners on the corners, Jay slapped a single through the left side of the infield to push Descalso across to make it 2-1.
The Marlins added a pair of runs in both the fourth and fifth innings.
Polanco reached on a soft line drive to right field with two outs in the fourth. Lyons then hit Jeff Mathis with a pitch before walking Ricky Nolasco to load the bases for Pierre, who dropped a two-run single into right field.
In the fifth, Polanco smacked a two-run double to center to give the Marlins a 6-1 edge.
Adieny Hechavarria's RBI single in the seventh made it a six-run game, and Adams added an RBI single in the ninth to account for the final margin.
Steve Cishek struck out pinch-hitter Matt Holliday with the bases loaded to end the game and record his ninth save of the year.
Miami has won two of its last three series overall ... Pierre has hit safely in 12 straight games. He now has 15 career hitting streaks of 12 or more games, tying Alex Rodriguez, Victor Martinez and Miguel Tejada for fourth among active players ... Nolasco has lasted at least 6 2/3 innings in five of his last six starts ... Lyons has dropped three straight starts ... Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran went 0-for-4, snapping his 14-game hitting streak.