The Cardinals weathered persistant rain and sloppy conditions Sunday to beat the Marlins 8-4 and sweep Florida for the first time in four-game series.
Still, they gained no ground on the National League Central Division race as the Brewers completed a sweep of the depleted Astros.
St. Louis starter Jaime Garcia struggled through five innings but left with a chance to win when Albert Pujols hit a solo homer in the fourth and Matt Holliday and Jon Jay combined to drive in three more in the top of the sixth.
Mitchell Boggs came into the game in relief and served up a tying home run to the Marlins. But he got the win when the Cardinals responded with three runs in the top of the seventh.
Daniel Descalso led off the inning by failing to bunt for a hit. But with one out Corey Patterson reached on an error. Rafael Furcal blooped a ball to centerfield to make it first and third with one out. Ryan Theriot singled in one run and moved to second on a wild pitch. Pujols struck out to make it second and third with two out. Then Matt Holliday singled to drive in two more.
The score stayed that way until the eighth when Lance Berkman singled home Pujols to make it 8-4.
Fernando Salas pitched the ninth and allowed a single but struck out the side.
While it's frustrating that they couldn't gain any ground on Milwaukee, the Cardinals did well to sweep Florida in a lengthy road series. They still have their fate in their own hands with nine games left against the Brewers.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Holliday was 2-for-4 with three RBIs.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Holliday's sixth inning single
Lowlight: The Cardinals were unable to make up any ground against the Brewers as Milwaukee played through an incredibly soft spot in its schedule. The two teams face off starting Tuesday in a battle for the division lead.