Marlins hold off Cardinals 8-7 - KMOV.com

Marlins hold off Cardinals 8-7

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Florida Marlins starter Javier Vazquez pitches in the first inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Wednesday, May 4, 2011, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam) By Tom Gannam Florida Marlins starter Javier Vazquez pitches in the first inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Wednesday, May 4, 2011, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam) By Tom Gannam

 

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Mike Stanton hit a tiebreaking two-run drive in the ninth inning for his third homer in four games, lifting the Florida Marlins to an 8-7 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night.

Gaby Sanchez had two hits and a bases-loaded walk for the Marlins, who survived blowing a four-run cushion and secured at least a split in all five of their road sets. Sanchez is 8 for 14 during this trip to St. Louis, with Florida sending ace Josh Johnson to the mound against Jake Westbrook for Thursday's finale of the four-game series.

Leo Nunez gave up Jon Jay's second pinch-hit homer of the season in the ninth, but got Matt Holliday to ground into a game-ending double play for his 11th save in 11 chances. Holliday had two hits and an RBI and leads the NL with a .413 average.

Emilio Bonifacio and Omar Infante had three hits apiece after switching places in the Florida order, Bonifacio moving up to second and Infante down to seventh because of a 4-for-30 slump.

Eduardo Sanchez (1-1) had Hanley Ramirez down 0-2 before walking him on a full count to start the ninth. With one out, Stanton hit his fifth homer of the season to straightaway center.

Mike Dunn (2-1) got six straight outs in the seventh and eighth for the Marlins, whose 19-10 start is the best in franchise history.

Cardinals star Albert Pujols is 0 for 4 with the bases loaded after grounding into a force play against Brian Sanches with the game tied in the sixth inning. That cost Chris Carpenter, coming off his first winless month when healthy in six seasons with St. Louis, a chance at his first victory despite one of his shakier efforts.

Carpenter gutted out six innings and gave up six runs, four earned, and 10 hits. A 16-game winner last year, he's 0-2 with five high quality starts in seven outings.

The Cardinals committed a season-worst four errors -- all in the first four innings -- with two each by Carpenter and catcher Yadier Molina. Both had a miscue in the Marlins' two-run first, leading to an unearned run, and two runs scored on Molina's wild throw to first on a home-to-first double-play attempt on Stanton's grounder during Florida's four-run third.

Ramirez clipped Molina as he released the throw. Carpenter and Ramirez had a nasty exchange after Ramirez flied out to end the fourth.

Bonifacio and Infante were a combined 6 for 6 with an RBI in the first five innings. Bonifacio is 12 for 27 over his last seven games and is batting .350.

Marlins starter Javier Vazquez couldn't hold a 6-2 third-inning lead, departing after 5 2-3 innings. He's allowed at least one first-inning run in all six starts.

NOTES: Before this year, Carpenter had been 12-3 the opening month with St. Louis. ... Cardinals RHP Kyle Lohse is on track to make his next start, moving past a bruised right shin from getting struck by a liner on Monday. ... Marlins starting pitchers are 11-4, the fewest losses in the majors. ... Florida was 0 for 2 with the bases loaded but is batting .500 (18 for 36) in that situation with a major league-best three grand slams. ... RF Stanton nearly made a spectacular catch on Allen Craig's foul liner in the fifth, the ball glancing off his glove as he tumbled into the stands.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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