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Berkman gets go-ahead hit, Cardinals hold off Marlins

Aug 6, 2011 - 4:58 AM Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Lance Berkman hit the go-ahead run-scoring double in the eighth inning and Lance Lynn escaped a bases-loaded jam in the ninth for his first career save, as the St. Louis Cardinals held off the Florida Marlins, 3-2, in the second portion of a four-game set.

Mitchell Boggs (1-3) earned the victory with a scoreless inning of relief to give the Cardinals their third win in four games.

Jake Westbrook started the contest and allowed two runs on six hits and three walks through six innings for St. Louis.

Anibal Sanchez (6-5) went 7 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out seven to extend his career-long slump of 10 straight starts without a win. His last triumph came June 10 against the Diamondbacks. He's 0-4 since then.

Mike Stanton went 3-for-5 with an RBI triple, but struck out with the bases loaded to end the game and give the Marlins their second straight loss.

With the score tied at two, Albert Pujols led off the eighth inning with a 430-foot double off the triangle in left-center field and advanced to third on Matt Holliday's grounder to second. Berkman then hammered a double into the right-center gap to push Pujols across the plate and knock Sanchez off the mound.

"When you get in those situations, you have to not let the big guys hurt you," said Marlins manager Jack McKeon.

Michael Dunn took over next and walked Skip Schumaker before being replaced by Edward Mujica. He limited the damage by fanning Gerald Laird and inducing a pop up to center field by Daniel Descalso.

Joe Thurston, who was playing his first game in the majors since 2009, led off the ninth inning with a single to right off Lynn. Thurston moved to second on John Buck's sacrifice bunt, and pinch-hitter Dewayne Wise followed with a walk to put the go-ahead runs on the bases.

After fanning Emilio Bonifacio, Lynn walked Greg Dobbs on four pitches to load the bases, but Stanton fanned on a 96 mph fastball to end the game.

"When you're facing one of the better young superstars in the league with the bases loaded and nowhere to go and you get a punch-out, that's a dramatic moment," said St. Louis manager Tony La Russa.

Thurston reached first on a fielder's choice in the second. As he was attempting to steal second, Laird's throw to the bag was wide and Thurston advanced to third on the throwing error. Westbrook then threw a ball in the dirt during a Buck at-bat that rolled away from Laird. Thurston made a break for the plate, but Laird recovered and made a toss to Westbrook, who covered home and tagged out a sliding Thurston.

With Sanchez on first and one out in the third, Dobbs hit a high chopper to second that Schumaker fielded and threw to second for the out. Stanton came up next and slapped a ball into the right-center field gap. Jon Jay slowly played the ball off the wall, allowing Stanton to take an RBI triple. Stanton was stranded at third on an inning-ending groundout by Logan Morrison to keep it a 1-0 game.

The Cardinals quickly answered that score with a leadoff, opposite field home run by Holliday over the right-field wall in the fourth. They then added a run after Berkman laced a ball into center field. Mike Cameron initially broke in on the ball, but then realized his mistake and turned around as the ball went over his head and to the wall. Cameron dropped the ball as he went to field it, which allowed Berkman to take third on the error. Schumaker's base hit to left brought home Berkman and gave St. Louis a 2-1 lead,

Gaby Sanchez and Cameron hit back-to-back singles to start the bottom half of the frame. Two batters later, Buck pulled a ball through the left-side of the infield to score Sanchez. A sacrifice bunt by Anibal Sanchez put runners on second and third, but Bonifacio hit a ball right back to the mound to end the inning and keep the game knotted.

Game Notes

Florida placed second baseman Omar Infante on the 15-day disabled list, selected the contract of Thurston from New Orleans and transferred outfielder Scott Cousins to the 60-day disabled list Friday...Holliday has now homered four times in the last five games...Cameron left the game in the sixth inning with a sprained left hand...St. Louis leads the season series 4-2.