Cheap Seats

Game 76: Marlins 5, Cardinals 3

I suppose I should be happy with the Cardinals winning five out of their last six games on the road.

But it sure would have been nice to see the team do something more with a nice start from rookie Joe Kelly.

The offense spotted Kelly a two-run lead when Carlos Beltran hit a sacrifice fly to score Miami native Jon Jay and David Freese doubled home Matt Holliday. But they couldn't add on and when Kelly suffered his one stumble of the game -- allowing a pair of runs in the Miami fifth -- the game was tied.

Back up catcher Tony Cruz hit a solo homer -- the first of his major league career -- to put St. Louis back ahead in the seventh. But the Redbirds relief crew was terrible once again. Fernando Salas allowed a homer in the bottom of the inning to tie the game and then Sam Freeman allowed one to put Miami ahead for good. The Marlins tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth to provide the final 5-3 margin.

Kelly pitched six strong innings, appearing much more poised and in control than in his previous work. He allowed five hits and two runs while striking out three and walking two. He's 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA.

A 5-1 road trip is nothing to complain about. But the Cardinals need to make it stand up by coming home Friday and winning a couple of series.

Cardinals Star of the Game: Cruz was 2-for-3 with a homer and a walk.

Cardinals Play of the Game: The Marlins might have had another run. But Rafael Furcal made a perfect relay throw to nail Oman Infante at the plate and Cruz applied the tag to limit the damage in the eighth inning.

Lowlight: Stop me if you've heard this one before... But the bullpen is the fatal flaw of this team.