MIAMI (AP)Pablo Lopez pitched three-hit ball over seven dominant innings days after getting married and the Miami Marlins beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-0 Thursday night.
Jesus Sanchez and Jazz Chisholm Jr. homered for the Marlins, who snapped an eight-game losing skid against St. Louis. The Cardinals swept two series last season and won the first two games in Miami.
Lopez and wife Kaylee were married during Miami’s day off Monday, and Lopez (2-0) celebrated with one of his best starts.
He struck out nine, including Cardinals star Albert Pujols three times. The right-hander retired his final 11 batters and extended Miami starters’ scoreless innings streak to 15 innings after Sandy Alcantara threw eight shutout innings Wednesday.
”That was really exciting having the opportunity to face him,” Lopez said of striking out Pujols. ”I grew up watching him and all the amazing things he did.”
Lopez lowered his ERA to 0.52 through his first three starts of the season.
”You want to make your pitches and stay ahead,” Lopez said. ”Being able to stay ahead today was huge.”
Sanchez raced home from third on Paul DeJong’s throwing error in the second to give the Marlins a 1-0 lead.
Miami increased its advantage in the fourth after St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina’s passed ball from reliever Drew VerHagen’s sinker allowed Sanchez to score again from third.
Sanchez drove reliever Aaron Brooks’ changeup into the seats in right-center for his third homer. Moments after being hurried into the batters’ box by plate umpire Phil Cuzzi, Chisholm hit a two-run shot against Brooks in the seventh.
”When he was trying to rush me in, I said wait, so I had to lock in quick,” Chisholm said.
Tanner Scott pitched a scoreless eighth and Anthony Bass closed.
”To get this win is big because you don’t know where a streak starts,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. ”You don’t know where you get on that roll where you’re able to win eight out of 10 or 10 out of 15, whatever it is. That has to start somewhere. To be able to stop what was going on the last couple of night, we feel good about ourselves.”
Converted reliever Jordan Hicks (1-1) made his first career start for St. Louis, working three innings on 46 pitches. Hicks, who has appeared in 114 relief outings with the Cardinals, allowed one run, two hits, struck out two and walked two. He threw 14 pitches at least 100 mph.
”The only thing I would say is different is the routine before the game,” Hicks said. ”Just getting the fluid in, going on the mound and making that walk. But besides that, it’s not too much different. I liked a lot about it, what I didn’t really like were the walks.”
The Cardinals plan to moderately extend Hicks’ workload as he adapts to his new role.
Nolan Arenado had three of St. Louis’ five hits while Tommy Edman went hitless in three at-bats, ending his 12-game hitting streak dating to last season.
”He had a good feel for his changeup, located it all night,” St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol said of Lopez’s outing. ”It was a good pitch for him, Made it difficult for us.”
Cardinals: OF Lars Nootbaar (left ear abrasion) had minor discomfort after fouling off a pitch in Wednesday’s game but pinch hit Thursday and struck out to end the game. … Marmol said VerHagen experienced hip discomfort and was removed after working the fourth inning.
Marlins: IF Jose Devers (right shoulder impingement) extended his throwing to 90 feet and is taking batting practice.
NEW CONTRACT FOR WENDLE
Marlins infielder Joey Wendle signed a one-year contract and avoided arbitration. Miami acquired Wendle from Tampa Bay in the offseason. The contract includes a mutual option for 2023.
Cardinals: LHP Steven Matz (1-1, 7.27) will start the opener of a three-game series at Cincinnati on Friday.
Marlins: LHP Trevor Rogers (0-2, 12.15) will attempt to snap a seven-decision losing skid when he starts the opener of Miami’s series at Atlanta on Friday.
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