Miami, FL – Over his last three outings coming in, St. Louis starter Kyle Lohse had received just four total runs of support.
Aided by a pair of Miami miscues, the Cardinals topped that mark in the opening frame on Tuesday.
Yadier Molina smacked a three-run homer as part of a five-run first inning, while Lohse tossed 7 1/3 strong innings as St. Louis won its season-high fifth straight game with a 5-2 triumph over the Marlins in the middle test of a three-game set.
Lohse (7-2) was charged with two runs on four hits and two walks for the Cardinals, who won their eighth straight game against the Marlins.
"Sometimes it's tough when you have a lead like that to stay with your game plan, but he did a nice job," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Lohse.
Carlos Beltran registered an RBI single and scored a run for the suddenly red- hot hitting Cardinals, who have plated 43 runs during their winning streak. The offensive outburst is on the heels of a 5-7 stretch where St. Louis pushed across just 34 runs.
Carlos Zambrano (4-6) surrendered four hits and five unearned runs in the first for Miami, which has dropped 17 of its last 20 contests. In all, the eccentric right-hander fanned five and allowed seven hits and five walks in 6 2/3 innings.
The Cardinals rode their wave of momentum from Monday's dramatic 8-7 extra- inning win into Tuesday as the offense exploded in the opening frame.
Rafael Furcal led off the contest with a single and after Jon Jay struck out, Matt Holliday reached on a fielder's choice after Zambrano's throw to second went into center.
"I was too quick to second base and threw the ball to center field," Zambrano said of the error.
Beltran followed with a single up the middle to bring home Furcal, and Holliday scored when Allen Craig's sharply hit one-hop grounder handcuffed Jose Reyes at shortstop.
Molina stepped up next and cracked a three-run blast over the wall in left- center for a 5-0 Cardinals advantage.
Giancarlo Stanton belted a solo shot to center in the bottom half and scored on Greg Dobbs' sacrifice fly in the fourth to cut the deficit to 5-2.
Mitchell Boggs picked up the last two outs in the eighth, while Jason Motte fired a 1-2-3 ninth for his 16th save of the season.
Ozzie Guillen was ejected in the seventh inning for arguing balls and strikes...Beltran, who went 1-for-4, is 8-for-22 over his last five games...Zambrano has walked 18 batters over his last four outings.