The Marlins took the rubber game of a three-game weekend match against the St. Louis Cardinals to complete a series win over the best team in baseball. Miami, a Major League-worst 21-47, scored 5 runs or more in all three games of the set for the first time this season.
On Friday, the Fish were fueled by Jose Fernandez’s stellar performance on the mound, coming back from a two-run deficit to beat the Cards 5-4. Giancarlo Stanton, recently returned from the disabled list, went 3-for-4 with 2 RBI to lead the Fish offensively. Fernandez, who pitched seven innings and allowed just two earned runs, also produced at the plate, singling home a run in the second inning. Steve Cishek notched his eighth save of the year with a perfect ninth.
The Cardinals came out swinging Saturday night, scoring five runs in the top of the first. But Miami came back with four of their own in the bottom half of the frame, and the game was tied at six after the bottom of the second, highlighted by an opposite-field homer by Stanton, his second blast in his five-game return stint. But St. Louis kept swinging, and came out on top 13-7, catalyzed by Carlos Beltran (3-for-6, 2 HRs).
Ricky Nolasco got the nod for Miami on Sunday, and he did not disappoint, pitching seven strong while allowing just one run on three hits and striking out four, improving his ERA to 3.61 for the season. Justin Ruggiano, Juan Pierre, and Placido Polanco each had 2 RBI in the win, and Giancarlo Stanton doubled in the first inning to extend his hit streak to six games. Steve Cishek closed out the game with his ninth save of the season, sealing the Marlins 7-2 victory, and their third series win of the month.
Despite struggling to keep their winning percentage above the .300 mark, the Fish are a surprising 7-6 this month. In years past, June and July have been the pitfalls to Miami’s seasons but hopefully the Marlins are starting to turn things around since the Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison have returned from injuries. This week, Miami will be on a west coast road trip, playing three and four game series in Arizona and San Francisco respectively.