Baseball / Sports

St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday is unable to hold onto an RBI single by the Miami Marlins' Christian Yelich in the ninth inning on Friday, July 4, 2014, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. The Cards won, 3-2. (Chris Lee/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT)

Cardinals escape with 3-2 victory over Marlins

ST. LOUIS -- The fireworks were planned, but by the time they were lit, they celebrated the unexpected.

The explosions served not just as a celebration of the national holiday, but also as a fiery sigh of relief after Trevor Rosenthal wiggled his way out of a giant ninth-inning mess.

After hitting a batter to load the bases and walking another to force in a run, Rosenthal found himself facing cleanup hitter Casey McGehee with one out and the bases loaded, up by just one.

But McGehee grounded to Matt Carpenter, who started a 5-4-3 double play that saved Rosenthal and set the fireworks off.

The Cardinals were outhit and forced to the very brink, but outlasted for a 3-2 win to open the weekend series with Miami.

The blister on his finger healed, Lance Lynn retained the grip of his breaking pitches again and returned to the win column, and the Cardinal offense broke through for a big inning that wound up being enough.

Lynn's 6 2/3 shutout innings came at the heels of his worst start of the season and was preserved by an interesting but effective night from the bullpen. With a blister forming on his right middle finger last Saturday against the Dodgers, Lynn abandoned his off speed pitches to avoid pain, to stinging results. He allowed nine hits and seven runs over two innings.

His hard stuff got his hard.

Friday he had enough of the soft to keep the Marlins off balance. Lynn allowed just five hits, struck out six and walked three to improve to 9-6 on the year.

He was dominant through six, but in the seventh alternated walks and strikeouts and left with runners on first and second and two outs. He was relieved by Sam Freeman, who got the only batter he faced to ground out to end the threat.

The Cardinals had the lead by then courtesy of a three-run sixth inning during which they hit three doubles.

Yadier Molina and Oscar Taveras both sent RBI doubles towards the wall in right -- Molina's singing, Taveras' screaming past the outstretched glove of Giancarlo Stanton.

Stanton smacked his hand in disgust after missing Taveras' ball, which bounced over the wall to score Molina and give the Cardinals a 3-0 lead.

Molina's double send Stanton sliding towards the line, the ball dropping just past his glove (the Marlins slugger also endured a frustrating night at the plate, going 0-for-4). It scored Matt Holliday, who had singled and advanced to third on a wild pitch and a fly ball.

Matt Carpenter led off the inning with a double off the top of the wall in right center. Carpenter circled first base waving his arm in the air, signaling for a home run. But a crew review confirmed the ball stayed in the yard.

Carpenter advanced to third on Holliday's single, and scored the game's first run when starter Nathan Eovaldi sent a wild pitch skipping to the backstop.

Pat Neshek allowed two hits but pitched a scoreless eighth.

(c)2014 St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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