Cardinals Top Marlins 5-2, Notch Fifth Straight Win

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 26: Yadier Molina #4 of the St. Louis Cardinals is congratulated after hitting a three run home run during a game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on June 26, 2012 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The Cardinals plated five first-inning runs in Miami tonight. It would be all they needed.

Rafael Furcal led off the game with a single. After Jon Jay struck out, Matt Holliday hit what likely should have been a double play but starter Carlos Zambrano hurt his own cause by throwing the ball over an unattended second base and into the outfield, which resulted in Furcal at third and Holliday at first. Carlos Beltran then smoothly laced a grounder through the infield to plate Furcal as the inning and game's first run. Allen Craig followed with a hard-hit ball off Jose Reyes's glove, which was officially an error and scored Holliday for a 2-0 St. Louis lead. In stepped Yadier Molina, who clubbed a three-run homer that made the game 5-0 Cardinals. It was Molina's third straight game with a homer.

Kyle Lohse turned in a solid performance.Other than Giancarlo Stanton, who homered and doubled, the Marlins weren't able to generate much offense. Lohse went 7 1/3 innings on the night, allowing four hits, walking two, and striking out four. Mitchell Boggs took over for Lohse after a walk in the eighth. After a Reyes single, he retired Hanley Ramirez and Stanton to end the Miami threat. Jason Motte worked a scoreless ninth for his sixteenth save on the year.

The two teams square off tomorrow night at 6:10 PM CDT in the final game of the three-game series. Rookie Joe Kelly is slated to start against Anibal Sanchez. I was really hoping for Kelly to square off against Mark Buehrle. Alas, I was denied my wish. Nonetheless, I'm going to point out a fun statistical coincidence presented at this moment in time.

Pitcher

GS

IP

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

LOB%

ERA

FIP

xFIP

Buehrle

15

99.0

4.64

1.36

1.09

74.6%

3.55

4.12

4.28

Kelly

3

15.1

4.70

1.17

1.17

82.6%

3.52

4.49

4.30

Hopefully Kelly can continue his Buehrle-esque performance and the Cardinals can sweep the Marlins tomorrow night, conquering Roger Dean Stadium once and for all.

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