Published November 20, 2014
Tony Cruz's two-run triple in the fourth inning proved to be the difference, as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Miami Marlins, 3-2, in the middle installment of a three-game series.
Skip Schumaker had an RBI single in the fourth for the Cardinals, who bounced back from a 3-2 loss in the opener on Friday.
Kyle Lohse (9-2) 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 (4-7) 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.
The Marlins jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Giancarlo Stanton, who missed the previous four games with a sore right knee, led off with a single and scored on Ruggiano's one-out homer to left.
The news was not all good for Stanton, who lasted just two innings Saturday. Scott Cousins came on as a pinch-hitter for him in the third as the Marlins All-Star right fielder left with right knee discomfort. It was learned after the game that Stanton will have surgery on Sunday in Miami and will miss the next 4-to-6 weeks.
Miami lost the lead in the fourth. Allen Craig singled and David Freese walked to get the Cardinals going. Schumaker's RBI single to left and Cruz's two-run triple down the right-field line made it 3-2 in favor of St. Louis. After Lohse grounded out, Rafael Furcal hit a grounder back to the pitcher. Cruz was thrown out at home on the play.
The Marlins had a chance to tie the game in the eighth and ninth. Mitchell Boggs gave up a one-out double to Greg Dobbs in the eighth. Dobbs moved to third on Jose Reyes' groundout, but Hanley Ramirez grounded out to end the threat.
Jason Motte gave up consecutive two-out singles to Logan Morrison and Ruggiano in the ninth, but Donovan Solano fouled out to give Motte his 20th save of the season.
The Cardinals have taken four of six from the Marlins this year...Zambrano fell to 12-8 in his career against St. Louis...Lohse improved to 5-2 in nine career meetings with the Marlins...Ruggiano extended his hitting streak to 10 games...Stanton was set to participate in both the All-Star Game and the Home Run Derby and was viewed as one of the favorites for the latter event, given his premier power tool. The National League has replaced him on the All-Star Game roster with 19-year-old phenom Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals. Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen will take Stanton's spot in the derby.