(BaseballStL) -- Tyler Lyons struggled to put the Miami Marlins away in his fifth career start, and first since June 8, on Sunday.
Making his first start in eight days, Lyons allowed the Marlins to score two runs in the first inning after three of the first four batters reached base.
Juan Pierre extended his hit streak to 12 games with a leadoff single on the second pitch thrown by Lyons. Giancarlo Stanton hit a one-out double before both runners scored on a single from Justin Ruggiano during the next at-bat.
Jon Jay pulled the Cardinals back within a run on an RBI single in the third inning, but more troubles hampered Lyons in a 23-pitch fourth inning.
After getting the first two outs, four consecutive batters reached base for Miami. Former Cardinal Placido Polanco hit a two-out single before Jeff Mathis was hit by a pitch. Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco then walked on five pitches to load the bases before Pierre hit a two-RBI single for a 4-1 lead.
The Marlins would work more two-out magic against Lyons in the next inning.
Adeiny Hechavarria hit a two-out single with a runner on first base before Polanco doubled bother runners to score for a 6-1 lead in the fifth inning. Lyons needed 22 pitches to get out of the inning.
Lyons walked Nolasco for a second time to begin the bottom of the sixth inning and got Pierre to fly out to left field before being yanked in favor of reliever Joe Kelly. His day was done after throwing 93 pitches through 5.1 innings pitched and in line for his third consecutive loss.
Sunday’s struggles will officially kickstart a debate about Lyons’ spot in the rotation. It’s his third disappointing start after allowing two earned runs on six hits and two walks over his first two career starts (14 innings pitched). Poor performances against the San Francisco Giants, Cincinnati Reds and now the Miami Marlins have now erased the strong start to his career.
In his last three starts combined, Lyons has allowed 14 earned runs on 22 hits and six walks over 17 innings pitched.
The Cardinals offense wasn’t able to bail Lyons out after scoring only two runs on five hits and four walks.