Friday, June 14, 2013

Stanton comes through in clutch as Fernandez, Marlins beat Cards 5-4

In a match up between the best team in baseball and one of the worst teams in the game, Giancarlo Stanton came up big with the bat and rookie starting pitcher Jose Fernandez did it on the mound as the Miami Marlins defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 5 to 4 on Friday night in Florida in a Major League Baseball regular season contest.

With the Marlins holding a slim 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning, Stanton came through with a clutch two-run double to bring in both Juan Pierre and Ed Lucas to bust the game wide open, making it 5-2 at the time and ultimately providing the hometown fans with what eventually the game-winning hit. Stanton finished the game at the plate 3 for 4 and with the 2 RBIs.

Fernandez out-pitched a rusty Jake Westbrook on the night of his return from the disabled list as well. The rookie went seven innings deep and allowed just three runs (two earned) over six hits and finished the night with a career-high ten strike outs -- improving his record for the season to 4-3 overall.

Allen Craig led St. Louis in hits with two, as he also drove in a run along with the likes of Yadier Molina, Jon Jay, and then David Freese -- who had a huge RBI double at the time in the top of the eighth off the Marlins bullpen to make it 5-4. The Cardinals were out-hit in the contest 10 to 8 by Miami, who earned their 20th victory of the season with this win.

Westbrook fell to 2-2 following the loss and seen his earned-run average rise to 2.05 for the season through seven starts so far as he allowed five runs on the night -- with just three of them being earned. Matt Carpenter made a costly error with two outs and thats when Stanton made them pay as he recorded his two-run double in a spot that shouldn't have even been possible. Both teams finished the night with an error, but the Cardinals couldn't overcome their mistake in the end.

Steve Cishek recorded his eighth save of the season in ten opportunities as he had a quick fix in the top half of the ninth, finishing with one strike out as well. The Marlins took the opening game of the three game weekend series and will need one more win in the final two games to give the Cardinals their first road series loss since the opening series of the season when they lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Marlins improved their record to 20-46 overall while Matheny and his Cardinals fell to 43-24 overall. Game two will be on Saturday afternoon with the first pitch coming at 3:10 pm Central Time with a pitching matchup between St. Louis' Lance Lynn (8-1, 3.00 ERA) and Miami's Tom Koehler (0-4, 3.91 ERA). The game will be televised on FOX Sports Midwest.

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