If the Florida Marlins complete their mission to make it back to .500, it won’t be on the St. Louis Cardinals’ watch.
Albert Pujols hit a tiebreaking home run in the fifth inning and Preston Wilson had three RBIs, helping St. Louis end the Marlins’ nine-game winning streak with a 13-6 victory Wednesday night.
“Close plays went their way, balls fell in,” Florida third baseman Wes Helms said. “For nine in a row the ball bounced our way. In the game of baseball, sometimes it bounces the other way.”
Hanley Ramirez had three hits and Mike Jacobs had two RBIs for the Marlins, who are 65-67 and missed a chance to climb to .500 after starting the season 11-31. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, no team since 1900 has reached .500 after falling 20 games below, and no team has won 10 in a row after such a ragged start.
The Marlins squandered a four-run lead against the NL Central-leading Cardinals, who have only three comebacks of four or more runs all season.
“It didn’t look good to start, I guess,” said third baseman Scott Rolen, who had three doubles, an RBI and two errors. “But we started swinging the bats a little better and putting hits together.
“That’s what we haven’t been doing.”
The Cardinals tied a franchise record with eight doubles and had a season-best 20 hits without any from recent hitting star Gary Bennett, who sprained his lower back stretching to tag out a runner trying to score on a failed squeeze bunt in the second after bobbling the ball.
Jason Marquis (14-12) contributed two hits and an RBI to the comeback for the Cardinals, who have won four of five and are 4-1 against the Marlins this year.