Fowler gives Cardinals sixth straight win

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[May 11, 2017]  MIAMI -- The St. Louis Cardinals have won a season-best six straight games, but their formula -- falling behind before rallying -- isn't popular with manager Mike Matheny.

"I love the result and that we have what it takes to fight back," Matheny said after the Cards' latest win on Wednesday night. "But we can't keep doing that."

In the latest comeback, the Cardinals dug a 4-0 first-inning hole but overcame it thanks in part to Dexter Fowler, who had the go-ahead pinch-hit RBI for the second game in a row as St. Louis beat the Miami Marlins 7-5 at Marlins Park.

With Miami leading 4-3 in the sixth, Fowler stroked a two-run triple to left-center field. Fowler then scored on a sacrifice fly by Kolten Wong to give St. Louis a 6-4 lead.

The Cardinals (19-14) also won their ninth straight road game, the longest streak in the majors this season. The club record is 12, set by the 1941 squad.

Miami (13-20) is 3-12 in its past 15 games. The Marlins have dropped five straight series, but this is the first time all season that they have been swept in three games.

Miami's Christian Yelich hit a leadoff double in the ninth, but Seung Hwan hung on for his ninth save. With two outs and runners on the corners, Steve Lombardozzi drilled a ball down the right-field line that went just foul on what could have been a tying double or triple.

"It just kept going foul," Lombardozzi said.

On the next pitch, he grounded out to end the game.

The Marlins, who have placed one infielder on the disabled list in each of the past three days, used their fourth starting shortstop of the season in Dee Gordon, normally their second baseman. Gordon hadn't played shortstop since 2013.

Another shortstop, rookie J.T. Riddle, injured his right index finger during pregame warmups and is expected to miss at least three days.

"They have to put some caution tape out there around shortstop," Riddle said, "just until everyone gets back healthy."

In addition, the Marlins used new arrival Lombardozzi at second base. It was the 28-year-old's first big-league game since 2015. He's with his fourth organization in the majors.

Neither starting pitcher was involved in the decision. St. Louis' Lance Lynn, who entered the game with a 4-1 record and a 2.04 ERA, lasted just four innings, allowing four runs. Miami's Tom Koehler, given a 4-0 lead in the first inning, gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings.

Reliever Sam Tuivailala (2-0) picked up the win. Marlins reliever Jarlin Garcia (0-1) took the loss in his first career decision.

Miami opened the scoring with a four-run first. Yelich hit a solo homer to center and Justin Bour pulled a three-run shot to the upper deck in right.

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Cardinals pincher hitter Dexter Fowler (25) connects for an two run RBI triple during the sixth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals cut their deficit to 4-3 in the third. After walks to Magneuris Sierra and Matt Carpenter, they got a two-run, opposite-field single by Jedd Gyorko and an RBI single to center by Yadier Molina. Koehler had to duck on Molina's hard shot.

After St. Louis took its 6-4 lead, Miami closed the deficit to 6-5 in the bottom of the sixth. Gordon doubled and scored on a one-out single by Derek Dietrich. The Marlins had a chance to get more runs in the inning, but Giancarlo Stanton bounced out with the bases loaded.

Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz hit an RBI single in the seventh to restore St. Louis' two-run lead.

The Cardinals used six relievers to put the game away as the bullpen combined to allow just one run in five innings.

"This is probably one of the most talented bullpens I've been around," said Cardinals reliever Jonathan Broxton, who got the big out on Stanton to end the sixth. "Everybody down there can get big outs."

NOTES: Cardinals RHP Daniel Poncedeleon, a prospect at Triple-A Memphis, left the field Tuesday on a stretcher after he was hit in the head by a line drive. Doctors operated on him Tuesday night, and he remains in intensive care. ... Miami placed SS Adeiny Hechavarria (oblique strain) on the disabled list and selected the contract of INF Steve Lombardozzi from Triple-A New Orleans. RHP Joe Gunkel was designated for assignment to create space on the 40-man roster. ... Marlins 3B Martin Prado (hamstring) is expected to miss at least six weeks. ... Marlins INF Miguel Rojas (broken right thumb) will have surgery on Friday and is expected to miss at least two months. ... Both teams are off Thursday. The Cardinals open a three-game series on Friday against the visiting Chicago Cubs. RHP Mike Leake, who leads the National League with a 1.79 ERA, starts for St. Louis. ... Miami plays host to the Atlanta Braves.

[ 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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