Alvarez leads way, Marlins beat Cardinals 8-4
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Henderson Alvarez worked seven stingy innings and started the key rally with the first of his career-best three hits, helping the Miami Marlins beat the St. Louis Cardinals 8-4 Sunday to take two of three from their spring training partners.
Casey McGehee extended his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games with an RBI single in the first. Marcell Ozuna had a two-run single in a three-run sixth that made it 4-0, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia's three-run homer off Jason Motte put Miami up 8-1 in the eighth.
The first two games of the series were decided by one run.
The Marlins have won a franchise-record 10 straight games started by Alvarez (6-3), and they easily took the series finale despite stranding 14 runners. Alvarez is 4-0 with a 1.04 ERA during that stretch, allowing no more than two runs in any outing.
Kolten Wong, just off the 15-day disabled list, homered in the seventh for the lone run against Alvarez. Matt Adams had a career-best four hits, including an RBI double.
Cardinals rookie Marco Gonzalez (0-2) allowed a run in 4 2-3 innings despite giving up seven hits and walking five in his third career start since being recalled from Double-A Springfield. He yielded five runs in each of his first two starts.
Alvarez struck out to end the second and then had a hit in three consecutive at-bats, the biggest a leadoff bloop single in the sixth. He topped his previous best of two hits, done twice, and raised his average this season to .250.
The three-day weekend series drew 133,736 fans, with the first two games sold out and the finale just shy at 42,160. It was 84 degrees at game time and temperatures were unseasonably mild throughout.
Marlins manager Mike Redmond, a former catcher, remembers St. Louis and Kansas City as the hottest cities in the majors, with triple-digit temperatures this time of year and "just roasting out there."
"It's gorgeous," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said before the finale. "Yesterday, I didn't realize it during the game but it was a beautiful day."
NOTES: The Marlins' previous franchise mark for consecutive wins in a pitcher's starts was nine straight for Chris Hammond in 1993. Hammond was 8-0 during that stretch. ... Jim Edmonds threw the first pitch, firing a high fastball to Matheny, on his bobblehead giveaway day. ... McGehee has hit in 20 straight games on the road, the second-longest streak in Marlins history behind a 27-game run by Luis Castillo in 2002. ... The Marlins open a three-game series at Arizona on Monday with Tom Koehler (6-6, 3.48 ERA), back from paternity leave, opposing Chase Anderson (5-4, 3.91). ... Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright (11-4, 1.89 ERA) was tied for the league lead in wins heading into a matchup against the Pirates and Charlie Morton (5-9, 3.30). Wainwright is 1-1 with a 1.20 ERA in two starts against Pittsburgh this year.