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Marlins dominated by Cardinals in first Spring Training game, 11-1

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The Marlins will look to bounce back when they face Pittsburgh on Sunday in Bradenton.

Víctor Víctor Mesa makes his debut in a Marlins game...with mixed results

The Miami Marlins opened Year 2 in Grapefruit League play under CEO Derek Jeter Saturday afternoon versus the St. Louis Cardinals, falling 11-1.

Both the Miami and St. Louis offenses were quiet early on, as Sandy Alcántara took the ball for the Marlins; Miles Mikolas got the nod for St. Louis. Alcántara worked two innings Saturday, allowing just one hit, striking out three hitters.

The Cardinals originally signed Alcántara out of the Dominican Republic, eventually trading him to Miami in December 2017 to acquire outfielder Marcell Ozuna. This was their first opportunity to appear in a head-to-head matchup. Alcántara pitched six games for Miami this past season, and will hope to earn a starting rotation role.

Miguel Rojas, who was leading off Saturday, drove home Lewis Brinson in the bottom of the third, after Brinson doubled to record Miami’s first hit.

Miami led 1-0...for a brief moment. St. Louis evened the game on Jedd Gyorko’s RBI single the very next half inning. Adam Conley and Austin Brice combined to pitch two innings. Brice allowed an unearned run.

The top of the fifth and sixth innings were absolute horror for the Marlins as R.J. Alvarez, a 2012 third-round selection, coughed up five runs on six hits. Alvarez gave up a three-run shot to the Cardinals’ Ramon Urias.

Brian Moran, a lefty, replaced Alvarez, recording an out. In the sixth, Brett Graves, who was a part of Miami’s bullpen in 2018, struggled in just ⅔ innings. St. Louis pummeled Graves for five more runs, on eight hits, extending St. Louis’s lead to ten, 11-1.

Nick Anderson, a former Milwaukee Brewer, finished the last out in the sixth. Ben Meyer, who tossed in 13 games for Miami last season, finished the pitching duties, throwing two shutout innings with two punchouts. St. Louis gashed Miami’s pitching, totaling twenty hits. The Marlins mustered just three hits.

Fresh off a disappointing but expected 63-98 mark, the Marlins will seek improvement following an offseason that included dealing away All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto to the Philadelphia Phillies. Obviously, this was not the start they had hoped for.

Next up, Miami will travel to Bradenton Sunday afternoon to battle the Pittsburgh Pirates, who grabbed a 3-2 win against the Philadelphia Phillies. First pitch is scheduled for approximately 1:05 p.m.

Full box score and play-by-play on MLB.com