On the heels of suffering his first blown save _ and first loss _ of the season, Cardinals reliever Edward Mujica completed a workload of four games in four games by saving the Cardinals’ 3-2 win over Miami today at Busch Stadium.
After suffering a 6-5 loss to the Los Angeles on Thursday, Mujica earned the save the next day, then gained the win on Saturday and polished off another save, his 23rd. today when he stopped the Marlins in the ninth inning.
Lance Lynn, with seven strong innings, was rewarded with his 11th win in 14 decisions as the Cardinals swept the three-game series after losing eight of their previous 11. They moved back into a tie for first place in the National League Central Division with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
"(Lynn) kept his good stuff all the way through,” said manager Mike Matheny. “He got us right where we needed to be.”
People are also reading…
What proved to be the winning run came in the third inning on a steal of home by Carlos Beltran on what amounted to a double steal although the Cardinals were merely trying to stay out of a double play with David Freese at bat and runners at first and third and one out.
“As you all know, we’ve hit into a few (double plays),” said Matheny, “So we were trying to get guys in motion to lessen our risk there.”
Freese struck out on a full-count pitch and Matt Holliday, running off first, got a bad jump and then stopped to get into a rundown. Beltran sized up the matter quickly and dashed for home, sliding around catcher Jeff Mathis, who couldn’t handle first baseman Logan Morrison’s low throw.
“Obviously, (Beltran’s) legs are feeling pretty good,” said Matheny of his 36-year-old All-Star.
After Trevor Rosenthal escaped a bases-loaded spot in the eighth, Mujica was called on for the fourth day in a row for the second time this season. He had four saves in four days from May 26-29.
Beltran helped defensively in right field, too, making a sliding catch on Mathis’ ball that was just fair to start the ninth inning.
ROSENTHAL ESCAPES JAM
Rookie Trevor Rosenthal pitched out of a bases-loaded spot he created in the eighth inning to preserve the Cardinals’ 3-2 lead over Miami at sold-out Busch Stadium.
Rosenthal, relieving starter Lance Lynn, allowed a one-out double to Giancarlo Stanton and a single to center by Logan Morrison, Stanton hesitated on Morrison’s hit, not sure if it would drop, and had to stop at third.
Amid bullpen activity, Rosenthal fanned Marcell Ozuna on a high fastball. He hit Derek Dietrich with a pitch but got pinch hitter Greg Dobbs on a grounder to second baseman Matt Carpenter, whose low throw was gloved by first baseman Allen Craig for the out.
LYNN GOES SEVEN
Cardinals starter Lance Lynn, seeking his 11th win, was lifted with a 3-2 lead over Miami after seven innings today at Busch Stadium.
Lynn, who had lost his previous two starts, struck out seven and walked just one in throwing 110 pitches.
BELTRAN STEALS HOME
The Cardinals, often likened to an American League team, because they depend less on speed than on brute force, played the smallest of “small ball” for two runs in the third inning today, breaking a 1-1 tie.
After Matt Carpenter was hit by a pitch, Carlos Beltran, who had had one sacrifice in five years, bunted to the left of the plate. Miami pitcher Jose Fernandez, after fielding the ball, threw high to first and Beltran was safe with a bunt hit.
Matt Holliday walked to load the bases before Allen Craig, one of the top run producers in the majors, drove in his 69th run with a sacrifice fly as Beltran went to third.
As David Freese was in the process of striking out on a full-count pitch, Holliday took for second. But Holliday stopped as catcher Jeff Mathis fired to second baseman Derek Dietrich and allowed himself to get into a rundown. This triggered Beltran’s move to the plate and he slid safely home, touching the plate with his hand as Mathis couldn’t handle a low throw from first baseman Logan Morrison.
The play officially was classified as a double steal, giving the Cardinals 22 steals for the season, still the lowest total in the majors. Beltran's steal of home was the Cardinals' first since Pete Kozma last Sept. 21.
Miami got a run back in the fourth, utilizing the bunt, as Mathis beat out a two-out bunt, scoring Marcell Ozuna, who, with one out, had tripled out of the reach of center fielder Jon Jay.
The score remained 3-2 as Cardinals starter Lance Lynn took the mound for the seventh.
MARLINS CATCH CARDS AT 1-1
In the last two scoring innings Cardinals righthander Lance Lynn had endured in his previous two starts, the opposition had scored four runs in one inning and then five in another.
Lynn was scored upon by the Miami Marlins in the second inning today at Busch Stadium, but for only one run as the Marlins caught the Cardinals at 1-1.
Derek Dietrich, who had homered and doubled the day before, doubled with one out and scored on a single by Adeiny Hechavarria.
HOLLIDAY HITS 12TH HR
Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday, who struck out and hit into a double play the first time he faced Miami star rookie Jose Fernandez three weeks ago, provided a different result in the first inning today.
Holliday lined his 12th homer, a 420-foot blast, into the center-field greenery as the Cardinals took a 1-0 lead.
KOZMA BACK AT SHORT
Pete Kozma, who sat for the last three days after going nothing for 17, is back at shortstop for the Cardinals today as they close out their three-game series and their season series with the Miami Marlins.
Kozma has looked good in batting practice sessions, said manager Mike Matheny, who has played Daniel Descalso at shortstop the previous three games. Descalso hit well but made two throwing errors on Saturday.
Lance Lynn will make his third bid for his 11th victory. He will be opposed by Miami's lone All-Star, righthander Jose Fernandez, who struck out 10 in beating the Cardinals two weeks ago.