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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, July 8th (All times eastern)

Miami Marlins (41-43) at St. Louis Cardinals (45-40), 2:15 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Miami - Anibal Sanchez (4-6, 4.19) St. Louis - Joe Kelly (1-1, 3.29)

(Sports Network) - One mistake led to St. Louis starter Joe Kelly being handed his first career loss, but the Cardinals have no complaints with how the rookie has performed so far.

Kelly looks to head into the All-Star break with a victory this afternoon when the Cards close out a three-game series with the Miami Marlins.

The 24-year-old Kelly has gone 1-1 with a 3.29 earned run average in five starts and hasn't allowed more than three runs in any of those outings. He pitched six innings versus the Rockies on Tuesday and the only damage was a three-run homer he served up in the third inning on a changeup. However, it was enough to take a 3-2 defeat.

"I just threw it bad," said Kelly, who saw one of those three runs unearned. "It's something you gotta either bounce in the dirt or get it more off and I didn't do both of those and it ended up as a three-run homer."

The right-hander faced the Marlins on June 27 and did not get a decision, giving up two runs over six innings of work.

Kelly started opposite of Anibal Sanchez on that day and will do so again with the right-hander set to take the mound for the Marlins. Sanchez picked up a win over the Cards with seven innings of three-run ball, moving to 2-2 with a 3.31 ERA in five lifetime meetings.

Sanchez, though, struggled in a no-decision at Milwaukee on Tuesday. The 28- year-old exited after five innings with a line of six runs -- five earned -- 11 hits and a walk with five strikeouts. That left him 1-3 in his last six outings with a 7.34 ERA.

In 16 starts on the season, the 28-year-old is 4-6 with a 4.19 ERA.

The two clubs have traded 3-2 victories so far in this series, with the Cardinals coming out on top on Saturday thanks to Tony Cruz's two-run triple in the fourth. Skip Schumaker added an RBI single in the frame as St. Louis won for the fifth time in seven games.

Kyle Lohse gave up two runs on three hits over seven innings to win his third straight start. The right-hander, who struck out four, has pitched at least seven innings in six straight starts, going 4-1 in that span.

"I'd say as far as a pitch-maker goes, he's as good as anybody right now. Not trying to overwhelm people with stuff, as much as making pitches," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.

Justin Ruggiano hit a two-run homer for the Marlins, who had a three-game winning streak snapped.

Carlos Zambrano allowed three runs on seven hits over five full frames to suffer another loss. He is 0-4 over his last six outings, with the Marlins losing each game.

"We're looking forward to having a very strong second half. We know what we can do," Zambrano said.

Not only did the Marlins lose the game, but they learned they will be without All-Star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton for 4-to-6 weeks due to surgery on his right knee. He hadn't started the previous four games prior and lasted just two innings on Saturday before being lifted due to discomfort in the knee.

The Marlins have lost four of six contests to St. Louis this season and nine of the past 11 meetings between the clubs.

07/08 10:31:43 ET