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Cards walk off with win in crazy 9th

2013-07-06T16:15:00Z 2013-07-07T07:43:04Z Cards walk off with win in crazy 9thBY BRENDAN MEYER bmeyer@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8513 stltoday.com

The pinch-hitters get most of the credit for this win in what could be the craziest ending to a Cardinals game this season.

With two outs and the game tied 4-4 in the bottom of the ninth, pinch-hitter Shane Robinson was up to bat with Jon Jay on first. The count was full, and Jay ran on the pitch while Robinson singled to right field. 

Jay advanced to third, but a bad throw from right fielder Giancarlo Stanton to first baseman Logan Morrison got away, allowing Jay to score for the Cardinals first walk-off of the season. 

“Whether it’s strange or not, we’ll take it,” Matheny said. “We’ve had a lot of close games like this we couldn’t quite pull off at the end, so it doesn’t matter to me ‘how.’ Just that we did.” 

Edward Mujica (1-1) got his first win of the year, pitching a perfect ninth.

Joe Kelly started the game, lasting six innings, giving up four runs on five hits, walking two and striking out four in his second start of the season. He gave up two home runs, one to Morrison in the third inning, the other to Derek Dietrich in the fourth.

Kelly left the game with the Cardinals trailing 4-2, and if it weren’t for Matt Adams, he would have been on the hook for the loss. 

Adams came in to pinch-hit for reliever Seth Maness with two outs in the seventh inning. With catcher Tony Cruz on first base, the Cardinals’ big first baseman drilled a home run to right field to tie the game 4-4. He earned a curtain call in front of 45,475 fans for his second career pinch-hit home run in only 26 pinch-hit at-bats.

Back in the fourth inning, there was some drama.

Matt Carpenter threw out Adeiny Hechavarria at home, but it looked like Hechavarria beat the tag. Marlins’ manager Mike Redmond quickly approached home plate umpire Bill Welke to argue the call, and was promptly ejected.

"I thought he was clearly safe. I don’t know if he even tagged him," Redmond said after the game. "I knew that run was going to be big.”

Cardinals’ pitchers were able to play through two errors by utility shortstop Daniel Descalso, who had two throws that went wide of first baseman Allen Craig.

Matt Carpenter hit his fourth triple of the season in the third inning, driving in Kelly, and Beltran followed suit to drive in Carpenter with a single up the middle.  

Marlins’ starter Nathan Eovaldi lasted 6.2 innings, giving up three runs on five hits, walking three and striking out three.  

Tomorrow, Lance Lynn (10-2, 3.52 ERA) faces Jose Fernandez (5-4, 2.72 ERA) at 1:15 p.m.

***

It's a tie ballgame here at Busch, thanks to Matt Adams. 

With Tony Cruz on base from a single, and two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Adams unloaded on a Mike Dunn pitch to right field to tie the game 4-4. 

Adams was pinch-hitting for pitcher Seth Maness, who came in relief for Joe Kelly in the seventh inning. It was Adams' second career pinch-hit home run in only 26 pinch-hit at-bats.

Kelly went six innings today, giving up four runs on five hits, striking out four. He can thank Adams for the no-decision, as Trevor Rosenthal now takes the hill for the Cardinals' in the top of the eighth. 

***

There was some drama at Busch in the fourth inning. 

After Joe Kelly surrendered a home run to Derek Dietrich, Adeiny Hechavarria hit a ground ball to shortstop Daniel Descalso, who threw a ball that sailed high over Allen Craig's head for an error. Hechavarria moved to second on the error, and tagged to third base on a Rob Brantly pop out. 

Pitcher Nathan Eovaldi was next at the plate. He grounded to Matt Carpenter, who threw the ball to catcher Tony Cruz to tag out Hechavarria.

The fans were happy with the call, as were the Cardinals. But Marlins' manager Mike Redmond? Not so much. 

From the press box, it looked like Hechavarria slid in before the tag, and the replays show a similar view. Redmond immediately emerged from the dugout to chew out the home plate umpire, and was promptly ejected from the game. 

Lots of excitement. It's 4-2 here at Busch through four innings.

***

The Cardinals have cut the Marlins lead.

Joe Kelly got the first Cardinals' hit of the afternoon in the third inning, a single right up the middle.

Matt Carpenter was next, who quickly drove in Kelly. He lined a ball to center fielder Marcell Ozuna, who dove and missed the ball, allowing Carpenter to easily make it to third base on a triple. Carlos Beltran followed suit, hitting a single up the middle to score Carpenter, cutting the Marlins' lead to 3-2 through three innings.

But with the first pitch in the fourth inning, Kelly surrendered another home run, this time to Derek Dietrich. 

The score is 4-2 in the middle of the fourth. 

***

The Marlins have added two more runs in the third inning. 

Joe Kelly walked former Cardinal Placido Polanco, and one out later, Logan Morrison hit his fourth home run of the season into the Marlins' bullpen. It's the second home run that Morrison has hit this series, as he crushed a ball last night off of Jake Westbrook into the batter's eye in center field. 

The Marlins are leading 3-0 in the third inning, and the Cardinals have yet to get a hit off of pitcher Nathan Eovaldi. 

***

The Marlins are the first to get on the board in this game. 

With one out, Derek Dietrich hit a double to left field, and was quickly driven in after Adeiny Hechavarria's bloop single. It flailed over the head of Matt Carpenter to make it a 1-0 game in the second inning. 

More to come from Busch...

***

Mike Matheny announced before Saturday’s game there will be a change in the starting rotation.

Adam Wainwright will start on Tuesday, flipping with Shelby Miller, who will now start Wednesday. This means that Wainwright will be able to get two starts in before the All-Star break, a decision that was made primarily from Wainwright.

“The All-Star Game is a unique and exciting opportunity and this would impact that,” Matheny said. "But (Wainwright) was very quick to prioritize. He would rather have two starts.” 

Wainwright will start against the Astros on Tuesday, and again against the Cubs the weekend before the All-Star break. This season, the Cardinals’ ace is 11-5 with a 2.36 ERA, second in the NL with wins and fifth in ERA.

It is highly expected that he will be selected later today as a member of the National League All-Star team, which will be announced at 5:30 p.m. CT.

Miller on the other hand had a rough month of June. He went 3-3 with a 4.31 ERA, but still holds a 9-6 record and 2.80 ERA on the season. With the flip in the rotation, he will only have one more start before the break. 

***

A two-hour and 17 minute game against the Marlins proved successful for the Cardinals last night, as Jake Westbrook cruised to a 4-1 win.

This afternoon, Joe Kelly (0-3, 3.86 ERA) will have his go against the worst hitting team in the National League. In Kelly’s last appearance against the A’s, he pitched 5.1 innings in relief after starter Shelby Miller only lasted 1.2 innings. Kelly threw 79 pitches, giving up only one run on three hits, walking three and striking out four. 

This is Kelly’s second start of the season. In his first start last month against the Diamondbacks, he went 5.2 innings, giving up two runs (1 ER) on four hits in the loss.

He faces Nathan Eovaldi (1-0, 2.00 ERA), who has had success in his three starts this season. Last July, he was sent to the Marlins as one of the pieces in return for shortstop Hanley Ramirez and Randy Choate, who both went to the Dodgers.

Eovaldi made one start against the Cardinals back in 2011, going five innings, giving up one run on five hits in the no decision. 

He won’t have to face Yadier Molina this afternoon, who gets the day off, but will have to face Carlos Beltran, who did not play last night. 

Cards fans will also recognize a familiar face in the lineup for the Marlins. Placido Polanco, who started his career here and played four and a half seasons with the redbirds, starts at third base. He was traded to the Phillies in 2002 for a player named Scott Rolen. 

Here are the lineups for today’s game… 

CARDINALS

1. Carpenter, 2B

2. Beltran, RF

3. Holliday, LF

4. Craig, 1B

5. Freese, 3B

6. Descalso, SS

7. Cruz, C

8. Jay, CF

9. Kelly, P

Marlins

1. Ruggiano, LF

2. Polanco, 3B

3. Stanton, RF

4. Morrison, 1B

5. Ozuna, CF

6. Dietrich, 2B

7. Hechavarria, SS

8. Brantly, C

9. Eovaldi, P

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Baseball writers Derrick Goold and Rick Hummel cover the Cardinals for the Post-Dispatch and STLtoday.com. They'll provide daily Cardinals updates here, from the start of spring training through the end of the season and beyond.

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