Cards fall to Marlins 5-4 in spring training opener -

Cards fall to Marlins 5-4 in spring training opener

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(Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) By Scott Halleran (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) By Scott Halleran

(BaseballStL) – A two-out ninth inning rally was not enough as the Cardinals fell to the Marlins 5-4 in the first spring training game for both clubs Friday afternoon in Jupiter, Florida. 

Flame throwing righty Carlos Martinez struck out the first batter he faced then got the second out on a ground out to third before running into trouble early.

Giancarlo Stanton hit a bullet off of Pete Kozma’s glove at short for a single. Garrett Jones followed that with a blast over the right field wall to put the Marlins up 2-0.

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That is the way it stayed with Martinez in control through three innings. Tyler Lyons took over in the fourth and mowed down the Marlins with a strike out and two pop outs.

The Cards got on the board in the bottom of the frame when Allen Craig drilled a ground-rule double to right-center. Stephen Piscotty came in to run for Craig. Back to back to back singles from Matt Adams, Yadier Molina and Peter Bourjos tied the game up at 2.

Marco Gonzales, the Cards first-round pick (19th) in the 2013 draft, replaced Lyons in the sixth where he worked around a walk. Gonzales got into trouble in the seventh, giving up a leadoff walk to Rob Brantley who scored on a double to center by former Cardinals benchwarmer Ty Wiggington. Jake Marisnick followed with a triple to center to put the Marlins up 4-2.

Gonzales seemed to get back on track with a strike out to Austin Nola, but his walk to Donovan Solano ended his day. Keith Butler finished off the inning with a fly out.

Jorge Rondon took over for the Cardinals and gave up just one hit in the eighth.

The Cardinals had a shot in the eighth when Scott Moore ripped a two-out double to center. Joey Butler earned a pinch-hit walk.  But with two on and two out Carson Kelly ended the rally with a strike out swinging to end the inning.

Pat Neshek the odd-throwing righty took the ninth for the Cardinals and gave up a lead-off blooper to Brent Keys that fell in front of a diving right-fielder Randal Grichuk. A throw off the bag allowed Keys to advance to third. With the infield in, Austin Nola drove a single up the gut to bring home the run and make it 5-2.

Marlins righty Sam Dyson got two quick strike outs before a single and a two run bomb by Patrick Wisdom made it 5-4.  But it was not enough and the Marlins take the first of many pre-season games to come between the two team.

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