Marlins score two in ninth against Rosenthal, pull out 6-5 victory

News-DemocratJuly 5, 2014 

— Trevor Rosenthal survived Miami's ninth-inning comeback Friday. On Saturday, he wasn't so fortunate.

Down to their final strike, the Marlins scored two runs against the St. Louis Cardinals closer to eke out a 6-5 victory at Busch Stadium.

Casey McGehee, who rolled into a 5-4-3 double play to end the game Friday, culminated an 11-pitch at-bat with a game-tying single to right-center that scored Donovan Solano all the way from first.

McGehee advanced to second on the throw home, then scored on pinch-hitter Jeff Baker's RBI single to left against Sam Freeman. Shane Robinson's throw home was high and off-target.

"It was a tough at-bat against a good hitter, and he won the battle," Rosenthal (0-4) said of his matchup against McGehee. "It was the same thing (Friday) night when he put a good at-bat together. He's a good hitter and he did his job."

The Cardinals (47-41), seeking their fourth consecutive victory, led 5-1 after five innings. Back-to-back homers by Allen Craig and Jhonny Peralta highlighted a four-run fourth against rookie Andrew Heaney and marked the first time this season the Cardinals have connected back-to-back.

But Christian Yelich's three-run homer in the sixth against Seth Maness got the Marlins back in contention before 45,445.

Randy Choate got Yelich on a line drive to Matt Carpenter at third to open the ninth, and manager Mike Matheny summoned Rosenthal.

Rosenthal, who needed 31 pitches to secure his 26th save Friday, allowed a single to Solano, but struck out Giancarlo Stanton.

McGehee fouled off five straight 3-2 pitches before his single, which was fielded by Jon Jay and relayed to second baseman Mark Ellis.

Ellis turned and fired home, but catcher Yadier Molina was unable to handle the throw, and Solano slid safely.

"You want to give him a long hop or get it all the way there," Ellis said. "Yadi made a good play on the ball, but he wasn't able to hold on. It just short-hopped him a little bit."

Ellis expected Solano to attempt to score, particularly since he had the advantage of breaking from first on all six 3-2 pitches.

"You have to do that on the road," Ellis said "There was never a doubt in my mind that they were going to (try to score)."

Matheny was on his way to the plate to argue the call by umpire Clint Fagan, but backed off when Molina told him he dropped the ball. Matheny instead relieved Rosenthal with Freeman.

Mike Dunn (6-4) threw a scoreless eighth for the win. Steve Cishek worked the ninth for his 19th save, working around a one-out single by Peralta by getting Molina on a 6-4-3 double play. The Marlins had been 0-38 in games they trailed after eight innings.

"It's disappointing," a glum Matheny said. "We had some nice offense to give us a little bit of room. It went away in a hurry. Guys worked hard to get us into the last inning; we just didn't have enough to finish it."

Rosenthal, who had made 12 consecutive scoreless relief appearances until Friday, has allowed four runs in the last 1 1/3 innings, jumping his ERA from 2.97 to 3.76. The blown save was his fourth of the season.

"I can't get my hands around it," Matheny said. "You go through periods when it just doesn't come as easy. He's fighting right now."

Shelby Miller was in line for his first win since June 7 until Rosenthal came undone. Miller permitted three runs (earned) on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings, throwing 107 pitches.

"It was a grind. That's the best way to say it," said Miller, who walked one and struck out two. "They were taking tough at-bats all game, it felt like."

Miller made a good defensive play in the fourth when he fielded Heaney's squeeze attempt halfway between home and the mound and made a underhand flip to Molina, who applied the tag on Marcell Ozuna to keep the game tied at 1.

Ellis singled against Heaney to open the Cardinals' fourth. After Miller sacrificed Ellis to second, Matt Holliday lined a single to right that easily scored Ellis to make it 2-1.

Craig then homered to right-center to make it 4-1, and Peralta homered off the foul pole in left to make it 5-1.

Craig's homer was the Cardinals' first at Busch Stadium since June 18, and it was Craig's first home run in 124 at-bats.

Ed Lucas and Jeff Mathis singled with one out against Miller in the sixth. Maness relieved and retired pinch-hitter Reed Johnson on a fly to right, but Yelich drove an 0-1 delivery from Maness onto the hitter's background in deep center.

"We wanted to get Shelby through that (inning), but he got in trouble and Yelich put a great swing on a pitch that got more of the plate and was higher in the zone than Seth was looking for," Matheny said. "That took some wind out of the sail."

Contact reporter David Wilhelm at dwilhelm@bnd.com or 239-2665.

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