The Marlins are probably re-thinking their decision to invite the Cardinals to the grand opening party for their new Miami ballpark.
The Redbirds played the role of poor guests from the start, taking advantage of the Marlins' hospitality to score two runs in the first inning then tack on another in the second en route to a 4-1 win to open the National League season.
Lance Berkman hit a two-out double to centerfield with Carlos Beltran on first. The throw came in to second ahead of the Big Puma who assumed he was called out and laid on his back behind second base as the Marlins infielders assumed he was called out. By the time everyone figured out what happened, Berkman stuck his hand back on the bag and was safe despite giving Miami every chance to retire him.
With runners on second and third, World Series hero David Freese singled to left to drive in a pair.
In the second, the Marlins wiggled off the hook for a moment when Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay ripped a ball right back up the middle. But ace Josh Johnson, who surrendered 10 hits over three innings, managed to stab the ball out of the air to prevent an eleventh safety. He then walked Daniel Descalso who was sacrificed to second by pitcher Kyle Lohse and then driven home on a hit by Rafael Furcal.
That was really all that Lohse needed as he hurled a no hitter for six innings with only a batter who was hit on the shin as he turned to bunt able to reach base. Lohse gave up his second hit in the bottom of the eighth and yielded to Fernando Salas with one out. Salas immediately got a double play ground ball that was perfectly turned and would have ended the inning if first base umpire Angel Hernandez didn't blow the call on the relay.
Berkman was so sure that the runner was out that he took eight steps toward the dugout, never bothering to look at the ump for a call.
Jason Motte pitched the ninth inning and notched his first save of the year.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Kyle Loshe pitched 7 1/3 innings of two hit ball, completely stifling the Marlins high power offense.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Carlos Beltran's first inning single, the first hit in the history of Miami's new ballpark.
Lowlight: The Worst Umpire in Baseball, Angel Hernandez, blew an easy call at first base on the back end of a double play in the eighth inning that could have changed the whole course of the game. Instead of inning the inning, the Marlins were given new life and scored their only run of the game in the next at bat. At that point, the tying run was in the on deck circle.