MIAMI (AP) — Yadier Molina hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly off former batterymate Sandy Alcantara to cap a three-run rally in the sixth inning that sent the St. Louis Cardinals over Miami Marlins 4-2 on Tuesday night.
Dylan Carson hit his second homer of the season for an insurance run in the ninth.
Alcantara was traded by St. Louis in a package to Miami for Marcell Ozuna in December 2017, three months after making his major league debut with Molina behind the plate.
The 25-year-old Alcantara (0-1) tied a career high with 10 strikeouts in the first five innings, shutting out the Cardinals on two hits. Tommy Edman and Paul Goldschmidt opened the sixth with infield hits and a walk to Nolan Arenado loaded the bases with no outs.
A passed ball gave the Cardinals a run and Paul DeJong’s RBI grounder made it 2-all. Molina, who also had two hits, hit a flyball that put St. Louis ahead.
Cardinals starter pitcher John Gant struggled with his command early but worked his way out of a no-out, bases-loaded jam in the third. He struck out four but walked three over his four innings, and benefitted from a pair of early double plays.
Ryan Helsley (1-0) won in relief and Alex Reyes went 1 1/3 innings for his second save.
Miami got a gift run in the first when left fielder Tyler O’Neill made two errors on the same play. After misplaying Starling Marte’s sharp line drive, O’Neill’s throw sailed to the backstop as Corey Dickerson raced home.
The Marlins added a run in the fifth when Jazz Chisholm, who doubled for Miami’s only extra-base hit, had a bases-loaded sacrifice fly.
Cardinals: LHP Kwang Hyun Kim pitched in a simulated game, but manager Mike Shildt had no specifics on the outcome in his pregame presser. Recovering from back stiffness, Kim had been expected to throw approximately 75 pitches.
Marlins: RHP Elieser Hernandez is improving after going on the 10-day IL Monday with right biceps inflammation, manager Don Mattingly said. The Marlins starter was to undergo an MRI at some point Tuesday just to confirm the initial diagnosis. … IF/OF Garrett Cooper returned to the lineup after fully recovering from side effects of a COVID-19 vaccination. RHP Jordan Holloway was optioned to the alternate training site.
Cardinals: RHP Jack Flaherty (0-0, 12.46) will take the mound after a shaky start on April 1 at Cincinnati.
Marlins: RHP Pablo Lopez (0-0, 0.00) makes his second start after pitching five scoreless innings against Tampa Bay on April 2.