The St. Louis Cardinals could have easily had a better outcome in their Sunday game against the Miami Marlins.
But, then again, the lopsided 8-4 loss could have been a lot worse, too.
The Marlins scored half of their eight runs with two outs. If the ball bounced a little bit more in the Redbirds' favor Miami could have had a lot less success. However, the Marlins left a whopping 26 runners on base. So it's easy to imagine they could have scored a lot more, too.
St. Louis starting pitcher Marco Gonzalez gave up four hits in the first inning, none of them hit particularly hard. He took the starch out of what could have been a devastating Marlins rally by coaxing Giancarlo Stanton, to hit into a double play. But then he gave up a single through the box to Cardinals killer Casey McGehee with two down to put Miami up 1-0.
Gonzalez retired the next five hitters he faced in order. And it looked like the game might settle into a hitters duel. But with two outs in the third he gave up another single to McGehee between walks to Stanton and Marcell Ozuna to load the bases with two outs and risk the game being blown wide open.
After a visit to the mound by the pitching coach, Gonzales wiggled off the hook by getting Jeff Baker to ground out.
In the fourth Gonzalez issued a walk and surrendered a single with two outs before wiggling out of the inning. In the fifth when, with two outs and one on in the fifth, Gonzalez walked a pair of hitters and was yanked from the game.
Seth Maness was able to get the last out of the inning. But in the sixth manager Mike Matheny went to lefty rookie Nick Greenwood and things went downhill fast from there.
The Marlins got their first two hitters on and then Greenwood retired the next two. After intentionally walking McGehee, Ozuna and Baker singled with two outs to plate three runs and break the game open.
Kolten Wong hit a solo homer in the seventh to cut the St. Louis deficit to 4-1. But the Marlins scored four more in the top of the eighth to put the game out of reach. The Birds scored two in the eighth inning and one in the ninth. But when Matt Adams, who came to the plate four-for-four in the bottom of the ninth, flied out to the warning track the threat was over.