The Marlins had scored their last 14 runs on 7 homers before Mike Stanton's triple and a sac fly from Greg Dobbs in the eighth inning Monday night snapped their small-ball drought. In another game chock full of round trippers, it was that run that made the difference in Florida's 5-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Chris Volstad had a rough first inning, Giving up a single to Ryan Theriot and walking Albert Pujols before player of the week (and longtime Fish Killer) Lance Berkman and Yadier Molina hit back-to-back RBI singles to put the Cards at a 2-run advantage.
The Fish grabbed the lead in the top of the third, thanks to the first career grand slam of Gaby Sanchez. Volstad singled, Chris Coghlan and Hanley Ramirez walked, and after a checked swing from Gaby was ruled a strike, he channeled his fury through the bat, clearing the bases to give the Marlins a 4-2 lead. (Note to Fish: make Gaby angry more often).
Unfortunately, Berkman would strike again in the bottom of the third, hitting a 3-run homer to put the Cardinals back on top 5-4.
Mike Stanton's solo home run in the fifth tied up the game in the fifth, and his triple in the eighth paved the way for the go-ahead run.
It was also a good night for the Fish pen, which tossed four scoreless innings.
Leo Nunez made it very interesting in the ninth, pitching himself into a jam, but pitched himself right out of it to lock down the series opener for the Marlins, and his National League-best tenth save.
This winning stuff is enjoyable.