Sunday, June 16, 2013

Nolasco dominates Cardinals as Marlins end streak with 7-2 win

The Miami Marlins came out focused on this Fathers Day as they defeated the major-league leading St. Louis Cardinals 7 to 2 behind a dominant performance from veteran starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco and ended their run at the record books on a beautiful day today in a major league baseball regular season contest.

Nolasco pitched seven innings of work as he gave up just one run on three hits and improved his record for the season to 4-7 overall. Entering this afternoon's game, in his previous eight starts, the Marlins were just 1-7 -- which wasn't all because of his performance, but because he had gotten just 12 runs combined for support.

The Cardinals seen their series winning streak end at a franchise-tying 14 consecutive wins while the Marlins won their very first series of the 2013 marathon outside of a team called the New York Mets -- and are playing their best stretch of baseball through out the first two and a half months of baseball.

Miami got their party started early on as Justin Ruggiano had a two-run single in the bottom half of the first-inning off the Cards' rookie starter Tyler Lyons as he was roughed up for most of his time of work. Lyons, who fell to 2-3 on the year, allowed six runs on eight hits and finished with three walks -- watching his earned-run average jump all the way up to 4.65.

To go along with the two RBIs from Ruggiano, both Juan Pierre and Placido Polanco finished with two runs batted in as well, as the trio of Marlins combined to drive in six runs and seven hits. Pierre extended his hitting streak to 12 games as him and Ruggiano finished with two hits apiece while the former Cardinal Polanco finished with three, helping their team out hit the Cardinals 11 to 5 for the contest.

Matheny opted to give Yadier Molina and Matt Holliday the day off but had both appear off the bench as pinch hitters in the top of the ninth-inning -- the only inning that they really showed any hops in their jump for the entire contest. Both Jon Jay and Matt Adams were the only Cardinals to drive in runs as Jay did so in the third and Adams in the ninth.

The Cardinals got more base runners off the three bullpen pitchers for Miami than they did off Nolasco through seven innings. Four reached base off the starter while five reached off the relievers. Steve Cishek picked up his ninth save of the season as he faced only one batter -- Matt Holliday -- as he struck him out to end the contest with bases loaded following two hits and two walks off Miami' reliever Chad Qualls in his workload of two-thirds of an inning.

Miami improved their record to 21-47 on the year as the Cardinals fell to 44-25. St. Louis will be heading back home on a 'Not-So-Happy-Flight' back to Busch Stadium as they will be opening up a four-game series against the arch-rival Cubbies for a 6:05 pm Central Time first pitch. The game will feature a pitching match up of Travis Wood (5-5, 2.65 ERA) and another Cards' rookie in Shelby Miller (7-4, 2.21 ERA) and will be televised live on the national network of ESPN.

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