Jake Westbrook works 7 strong in Cardinals' victory over Marlins
ST. LOUIS -- A fireworks display from the nearby riverfront began before closer Edward Mujica took the mound. After the final out, the St. Louis Cardinals had their own little display.
"That's crazy," Mujica said after finishing off the Miami Marlins for a 4-1 victory Friday night. "I saw the people before the inning taking pictures and everything. I'd never seen that before."
The Cardinals saw what they've seen all year from Mujica, the former setup man who capitalized on his chance with a perfect 21-for-21 start before finally blowing one on Thursday night.
"Everybody has bad days sometimes," Mujica said. "You try to get here and turn the page. I knew what I did, I made a couple mistakes and I went right after them."
Jake Westbrook worked seven strong innings and Allen Craig had two RBIs for a lineup that spoiled Jacob Turner's homecoming early on.
"I was able to get ahead quite a bit tonight, but I wasn't able to put a lot of guys away," Turner said. "And I think that's what hurt me."
Matt Holliday doubled twice with an RBI and Mujica rebounded for the Cardinals, who had lost eight of 11 and plummeted from the majors' best record to second place in the NL Central entering a five-game homestand.
The Marlins totaled three hits and lost for just the third time in 11 games. They flubbed a scoring chance in the fifth with an unusual double play off a sacrifice bunt attempt from Turner.
"I saw guys out, everybody was out," manager Mike Redmond said. "I thought it was a triple play."
The hard-throwing Turner (2-1), a former first-round pick from suburban St. Charles, Mo., and confidant of Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, surrendered four runs on seven hits in six innings. The 22-year-old entered with a 1.76 ERA his first six starts of the year and threw his first career complete game his last time out.
Matheny's son Tate caught Turner for a handful of games at Westminster Christian Academy before Turner was the Tigers' first-round pick in 2009. Matheny minimized his influence before the game, and afterward said knowledge of the back story wasn't a factor.
"These guys, they know what they're doing," Matheny said. "I could have watched every start he ever threw but it's different once you get in the box.
"They had a good game plan. They knew what they wanted to do."
Westbrook (5-3) was hurt only by Logan Morrison's 440-foot homer to straightaway center leading off the second that ended the right-hander's streak of 23 innings without allowing an earned run at home to start the season. The sinkerballer got all three outs on ground balls five times and benefited from two double plays, one of them a bit unusual, and is 3-1 in his last four starts.
"Controlling counts, you have to make them swing at it down there," Westbrook said. "To do that you've got to get ahead. I was able to do that tonight."
Trevor Rosenthal struck out the side in the eighth before Mujica struck out two in a perfect ninth, less than 24 hours after giving up a game-tying two-run homer to the Angels' Josh Hamilton in a 6-5 loss Thursday night.
With runners on first and second and none out in the fifth, Turner was called out by home plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth after his sacrifice bunt attempt bounced off the plate and right to catcher Yadier Molina for a quick tagout. Molina threw to third and Adeiny Hechavarria was ruled out without a tag, then was in the dugout before the Marlins could react.
Culbreth, speaking to a pool reporter from the Associated Press, called it an "unfortunate circumstance of three or four things taking place at once." He said he ruled on a fair ball and the out "basically simultaneously," then was distracted by complaints from Marlins third base coach Joe Espada.
"In the middle of making both those calls, I think the runners, fielders and possibly even my colleagues couldn't see my actions as well," Culbreth said. "And that's what led to the confusion."
Holliday and Craig doubled with two outs in the first to nearly identical drives to right-center to put the Cardinals in front. They got RBI doubles from Holliday and Matt Adams plus a sacrifice fly from Craig in the third to make it 4-1.
Craig is near the top of the National League with 68 RBIs and entered with a league-leading .469 average with runners in scoring position.
A standing room crowd of 46,177 attracted by a Mike Shannon bobblehead giveaway gave the longtime Cardinals announcer a lengthy ovation before the seventh. Shannon left the stadium with four bobbleheads in a shopping bag.
Joe Kelly (0-3, 3.86) makes a long-delayed first appearance as the Cardinals' fifth starter since getting elevated to the rotation on June 22 on Saturday. Four starters had been enough because the Cardinals had three days off. Eovaldi (1-0, 2.00) makes his fourth start of the year for the Marlins. ... Morrison has three homers his last five games against the Cardinals. ... Adams has six RBIs his last six games. ... Hechavarria has nine hits during a five-game hitting streak.
STL Wins 3-0
- Home Plate Umpire - Fieldin Culbreth
- First Base Umpire - Bill Welke
- Second Base Umpire - Adrian Johnson
- Third Base Umpire - Brian O'Nora