Published November 20, 2014
The St. Louis Cardinals started a season without three-time National League MVP Albert Pujols for the first time since 2000.
The reigning World Series champions didn't need him the way Kyle Lohse pitched, as the Cardinals christened Marlins Park with a 4-1 victory over Miami on Wednesday night to open the MLB season.
The new-look Marlins, with a new manager, a revamped lineup and a sparkling new stadium, were mere bystanders as Lohse (1-0) held them hitless for the first six innings and allowed just one run over 7 1/3 frames.
David Freese, last year's World Series MVP, picked up where he left off with three hits, including a two-run single in the first inning to get St. Louis' title defense started on the right foot.
Rafael Furcal went 3-for-5 with an RBI, and Carlos Beltran, added after Pujols signed a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Angels, had two hits and scored a run for the victors.
Josh Johnson (0-1), making his third straight Opening Day start for the Marlins, was touched for three runs on 10 hits over six frames in defeat.
The matchup featured a first-year MLB manager in Mike Matheny for St. Louis and Ozzie Guillen in the other dugout. Guillen spent eight years on the White Sox's bench, guiding them to a World Series crown in 2005.