Cardinals fall to the Marlins in extra innings as Chris Roycroft victimized by walk-off

Lynn Worthy, St. Louis Post-Dispatch on

Published in Baseball

MIAMI — For the second time in his past two outings, St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Chris Roycroft was on the mound when the opposing club scored pivotal runs without hitting the ball out of the infield.

On Saturday, a couple of infield squibbers and a fielding error by Roycroft led to a pair of runs for the Chicago Cubs.

In Tuesday night’s loss to the Miami Marlins, Roycroft gave up the tying run on a infield single in the 10th inning, the second of two infield singles and that set up a walk-off RBI single by Vidal Brujan as the Marlins rallied for a 9-8 win over the Cardinals at loanDepot Park in the second game of a three-game set.

The Cardinals (36-36) got home runs from Paul Goldschmidt (1 for 4), Alec Burleson (2 for 5) and Brendan Donovan (1 for 5) in the loss. Michael Siani (2 for 5, double) and Matt Carpenter (2 for 4) also had multi-hit games.

Crawford’s almost debut at third base

Veteran shortstop Brandon Crawford was slated to start at third base for the first time in his major-league career.

The former longtime starting shortstop for the San Francisco Giants, Crawford entered the day having started 1,540 games at shortstop and having played 13,696 2/3 innings in the field at that same position. The only inning he did not play shortstop came in his one pitching appearance in 2023.

Crawford last played third base in a professional game in a minor-league playoff game in 2010. He’d been taking ground-balls in recent weeks, including throughout the road trip, at third base during pregame work in anticipation of playing third in a game.

Third baseman Nolan Arenado had a scheduled day off, and Crawford was slated to start at third base alongside rookie shortstop Masyn Winn. However, the Cardinals scratched Winn from the starting lineup less than an hour before first pitch due to illness.

Crawford started at shortstop and Brendan Donovan started at third base and batted leadoff (Winn had originally been in the leadoff spot).

Winn did step onto the on deck circle in the top of the ninth inning in place of Crawford, but that spot in the order did not come up in the inning. Crawford remained in the game.

Fireworks from the start

The teams combined for five runs in the first inning. All of the runs scored on home runs, a two-run home run by Paul Goldschmidt — his ninth of the season — gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead. However, Jesus Sanchez blasted a three-run home run in the bottom half of the inning after singles by Bryan De La Cruz and Josh Bell.

Sanchez’s 418-foot homer gave the Marlins a 3-2 advantage through one inning.

The scoring continued fast and furious in the early stages thanks to another two-run home run in the top of the second inning by Cardinals super utility man Brendan Donovan. Michael Siani, who homered on Monday night, doubled with two outs to extend the second inning and set up the Donovan two-run homer.


The Marlins pulled even in the second after a fielding error by Crawford allowed the leadoff batter to reach base. Jazz Chisholm’s sacrifice fly tied the score 4-4.

The Cardinals scored in the third and fourth innings to take a 7-4 lead. Crawford’s RBI ground out in the third drove in Ivan Herrera from third base, and Siani’s two-out RBI single drove in Matt Carpenter with the second run of the inning.

Burleson bashed his 10th home run of the season, a solo homer, in the fourth inning.

However, the Marlins got a run back in the fourth when Tim Anderson singled, stole second base, advanced to third on a ground out to the right side of the infield and scored on another ground out.

Amazing escape from Lynn

The Marlins loaded the bases with one out against Lynn with the Cardinals holding onto a two-run lead, 7-5, in the fifth inning.

Following a ground out by De La Cruz to start the frame, Josh Bell, Sanchez and Jake Burger hit three consecutive singles to put the tying run in scoring position and the go-ahead run on base as Lynn’s pitch count reached the 80-pitch mark.

Lynn struck out Nick Gordon on a 1-2 slider for the second out. That brough Tim Anderson to the plate having already collected a hit against Lynn the previous inning and coming off a two-hit night in the series opener on Monday.

Lynn struck Anderson out on a 1-2 fastball clocked at 93.5 mph. Both strikeouts to leave the bases loaded were on swings and misses.

Marlins go deep again, knot it up again

After his great escape in the fifth inning, Lynn came back out for the sixth inning having already thrown 89 pitches. He struck out the first batter Otto Lopez, the third consecutive strikeout for Lynn, to start the sixth. Then Marlins catcher Christian Bethancourt hit a 2-1 sinker from Lynn an estimated 388 feet to left field for a solo home run.

Bethancourt’s homer marked the end of the outing for Lynn, who allowed six runs (five earned) on 10 hits (two home runs) in 5 1/3 innings. Lynn also struck out five.

The Marlins pushed the tying run across against reliever Matthew Liberatore. Singles by Chisholm – an infield single – and De La Cruz put runners on the corners with out one out. Bell’s sacrifice fly drove in Chisholm and made the score 7-7.


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