The Cardinals were done in by a crucial pinch hit in their 6-5 loss to the Marlins on Monday night. 40-year old Lenny Harris came to the plate for Florida starting pitcher Ismael Valdez and laced a three-run double off Cardinals’ starter Jason Marquis in the sixth inning to give the Marlins a 6-4 lead. The hit completed a four-run rally.
Marquis (9-9) finished out the inning, but didn’t return for the seventh, replaced by Brad Thompson. Valdes lasted five innings and got his first win of the year. It was his third start after missing three months with a broken leg. Marquis, who has lost his last three starts, was charged with six runs off nine hits and two walks. He is 1-6 in his last nine starts.
The Cardinals loss came after leading 4-2. Albert Pujols hit his 29th home run of the year when he took Valdez deep to left field in the first inning. After Mike Lowell gave Florida a 2-0 lead with a two-run shot in the second, the Cardinals bounced back. Marquis drove in John Rodriguez with a double to tie it at 2-2 in the bottom of the second.
Rodriguez gave St. Louis the 4-2 advantage with a two-run double scoring Pujols and Jim Edmonds.
The Cardinals are 7-9 against N.L. East teams this season.