Cardinals can't deliver in clutch vs. Marlins

Matt Holliday was hit by a Heath Bell offering

The visitors from Miami eked out a narrow win in the weekend series opener at Busch Friday night.

INSIDE PITCH

 

Miami left fielder Logan Morrison's eighth-inning homer off Cardinals right-hander Maikel Cleto proved to be the winning run in the Marlins' 3-2 win Friday night at steamy Busch Stadium, where it was 103 degrees at first pitch.

 

But the key numbers for the Cardinals in this one were 2 and 16. The Cardinals had only two hits in 16 at-bats with men in scoring position. They had at least one man in scoring position in seven of the nine innings, including the ninth.

 

The primary culprits were the Big Three in the Cardinals' lineup, normally a reliable crew. But right fielder Carlos Beltran (nothing for four), left fielder Matt Holliday (nothing for two) and first baseman Allen Craig (nothing for one) didn't have any of the hits with men in scoring position.

 

"Those guys have a lot of RBI. Look at their stats. They do come through," said manager Mike Matheny. "It just didn't happen tonight."

 

After losing All-Star catcher Yadier Molina to the bereavement list before the game, the Cardinals also had to replace All-Star shortstop Rafael Furcal after he had legged out an infield hit in the ninth. And Holliday, the All-Star replacement for Molina, was hit in the left elbow by a ninth-inning pitch by Miami right-hander Heath Bell.

 

Matheny said Furcal had been bothered for a while by a shin issue. He would seem unlikely to play Saturday afternoon. Holliday stayed in the game but surely will be sore on Saturday.

 

The Cardinals' one-run loss was their 14th in 22 such decisions. "Another tough loss," said Matheny. "We had a few opportunities. We just couldn't come through."

 

NOTES, QUOTES

C Yadier Molina won't be at the All-Star Game and won't be playing the weekend series with Miami, either, because he will be in his native Puerto Rico after the death of his wife's grandfather there. He has been placed on baseball's bereavement list, and C Bryan Anderson has been recalled from Class AAA Memphis for the weekend. Anderson was hitting .210 at Memphis. C Tony Cruz, who played on Friday, is hitting .186.

LF Matt Holliday, who has been in five previous All-Star Games, was named to replace C Yadier Molina, who is on the bereavement list, for the National League team for Tuesday's All-Star Game in Kansas City. "It's always a pleasure and honor to be a part of it," Holliday said. "Obviously, I feel for Yadi, but I'm privileged to be part of the game." Holliday is 35 for 72 (.486) since June 16.

RHP Jake Westbrook, though pitching well, suffered his seventh loss in 14 decisions and blamed himself both for a defensive mistake and an offensive failure. After fielding Miami SS Jose Reyes' tapper in the seventh, Westbrook threw off-balance and off-line to first as the lead run scored. "It's a tough play," said Westbrook. "But it's a play I've made before." Westbrook also grounded into a double play to end the sixth when the Cardinals, tied at 1-1, got the first two runners on and still had men at first and third with one out and Westbrook hitting. "Even striking out is better than what I did," said Westbrook, who swung away rather than bunt at 0-2 in the count. "It's kind of the worst-case scenario there," said Westbrook.

3B David Freese, a newly minted All-Star, had one of those good news/bad news nights. He had three hits, including a run-scoring double in the second inning. But he also committed two errors in a space of a few hitters in the fifth inning when the Marlins scored an unearned run. Freese had fielded well all season, committing only five errors in his first 76 games. "David's been playing very good defense," said manager Mike Matheny. "Once in awhile, they don't happen."

RF Carlos Beltran extended his hitting streak to nine games with a fifth-inning single, but in his four other at-bats, he made outs with men in scoring position.

By the Numbers:

2 - Extra-base hits for SS Rafael Furcal in the last month.

Quote to Note:

"You can't really say I'm a very good hitter. But I still feel like I can do a little better there."

- RHP Jake Westbrook, who had doubled earlier in the game, on hitting into a key double play in the sixth.

MEDICAL WATCH

SS Rafael Furcal (shin) had to leave the July 6 game in the ninth inning after beating out an infield hit. He is unlikely to play July 7.

LHP Jaime Garcia (left shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 6. After further examination, it was determined that he has tearing in his rotator cuff. He threw 40 pitches from 60 feet on flat ground for the first time in a month July 4. He is out until at least mid-August.

RHP Kyle McClellan (strained right ulnar collateral ligament) went on the 15-day disabled list May 18, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 30. He won't need surgery but likely will be sidelined until at least late July. He threw from flat ground for the first time July 3 and reported he felt good July 4. He could be back in early August.

1B Lance Berkman (torn meniscus in right knee) went on the 15-day disabled list May 20. He had arthroscopic surgery May 25, and no ACL damage was found. He took batting practice July 2, and he hopes to return to the Cardinals on July 13.

RHP Chris Carpenter (weak right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 10. He threw for the first time since March on June 13 and then threw another 40 pitches on June 15. He threw to hitters for the first time June 22 but then had a setback June 25 when he felt renewed weakness in the shoulder. He said it felt better the next day, and he had an extensive throwing session off flat ground June 27. On June 28, he was told he has thoracic outlet syndrome, which can cause, among its effects, weakness in one's shoulder. A July 2 bullpen session was canceled. On July 3, the Cardinals announced that Carpenter will undergo season-ending surgery July 19 and will be out until February.

Link to boxscore: Miami 3 at St. Louis 2

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