The Cardinals battled one of the best pitchers in baseball for seven innings -- then took the first pitch from a Marlins reliever over the boards en-route to a 6-3 win and a split of the four-game series.
Jake Westbrook pitched 4 2/3 innings of no-hit ball and then gave up four hits in a row to lose the lead. Meanwhile, Marlins ace Josh Johnson gave up three hits and a walk in the first, then he settled down. He gave up single runs in the first and the sixth before departing with the score tied at three and two runners on base.
The Marlins brough in lefty reliever Mike Dunn to make Lance Berkman bat righthanded. And Berkman took the first pitch he saw for a ride to the left field bleachers for what turned out to be a game-winning homer.
Eduardo Sanchez came in to get the save in the ninth and had a bizarre bout of wildness. He threw six straight balls before settling down and getting a double play. Sanchez again flirted with danger by walking a man with two outs. But he got a grounder to third to end the game and notch his third save of the year.
Jason Motte got the win by pitching a scoreless eighth inning. Albert Pujols got back over the .250 mark with three singles. Colby Rasmus was 2-for-3 and Matt Holliday was 2-for-4 to raise his batting average to .415 on the season.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Berkman was 1-for-2 with four RBIs and a run scored. His homer was his 10th of the young season.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Berkman's homer.
Lowlight: Ryan Theriot had an 0-for-4 day to drag his batting average to .292.