The scoreboard said the Cardinals lost 8-7 to the visiting Marlins. But, the way they played, it sure seemed more like 28-7.
Chris Carpenter, who has repeatedly lost games he pitched well enough to win this season, was hit hard and often Wednesday. And he didn't get any help from his defense either, which made four embarassing errors.
In six innings Carpenter was touched for 10 hits and three walks to allow six runs, four of them earned.
The Marlins scored their first run on a triple followed by a single in the first. But when Hanley Ramirez tried to steal second, St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina threw the ball into centerfield and allowed him to go all the way to third base. Gaby Sanchez dribbled a ball in front of the plate and Ramirez was going to be out at the plate... But Molina dropped Carpenter's underhanded throw for an insurance run.
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The Cardinals got a gift in the bottom of the inning when they had two runners on and two out with Lance Berjman at the plate. Berkman lifted a ball down the left field line which Marlins flychaser Emilio Bonifacio tracked down but dropped when he collided with the low side wall. Two runs scored to erase the mistakes in the top of the inning and knot the score at two.
But in the third Carpenter gave up a pair of singles and a walk to load the bases. Then he walked in a run -- the first time he's done that in his Cardinals career. Mike Stanton gave the Cardinals a break when he hit a grounder that was fielded and thrown to Molina for an out at the plate. But Ramirez clipped Yadi's legs from beneath him as the St. Louis catcher tried to make the relay throw to first for the double play. Molina airmailed the ball to right field and two runs scored. Carp got a strikeout to freeze Stanton at third temporarily. He exploded Omar Infante's bat with two outs, but the ball carried over the infield for a single and the Birds were down 6-2.
The Cardinals scored two in the third and two more in the sixth to even the game back up. But Eduardo Sanchez gave up a two-run homer in the ninth to give the Marlins an 8-6 lead. Jon Jay homered to make it 8-7 with Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday coming to the plate. But the Birds could get no closer.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Holliday was the only Cardinals hitter to collect two hits. He raised his batting average from .409 to .413.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Jay's homer.
Lowlight: Four errors in a game is completely unacceptable. It's pretty tough to win a game when you're passing out that many get out of jail free cards.