for this game

Carpenter, Pujols lead Cardinals over Marlins

Aug 7, 2011 - 4:36 AM Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Albert Pujols' two-run homer in the first inning was all Chris Carpenter and the St. Louis Cardinals needed to beat the Florida Marlins, 2-1, in the third meeting of a four-game series.

Carpenter (7-8) inched closer to reaching the .500 mark for the first time this season by holding the Marlins to one run on five hits over 6 2/3 innings.

St. Louis won its third straight game despite stranding 12 runners and going 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position.

Ricky Nolasco (8-8) went seven innings and allowed just two runs despite surrendering 10 hits for Florida, which had won eight of 10 entering the set.

Rafael Furcal started the game with a single despite replays showing Mike Stanton making a shoe-string catch on the fly in right field. Two batters later Nolasco hung a 74-m.p.h. curveball to Pujols that was quickly redirected into the left-field seats, and the Cardinals suddenly led, 2-0.

"No question that's the difference in the ballgame," Marlins manager Jack McKeon said of the blown call on the game's first at-bat. "I'm not going to criticize the umpires or rip them because it's a tough job. But on the other hand we have got to get these plays right. We can't have this consistently three of four times a week."

In the home fourth, Carpenter gave up a single and two walks to load the bases with one out, then plunked DeWayne Wise with an 0-2 pitch in the foot to force in a run. He was able to limit the damage by getting his counterpart, Nolasco, to bounce into a 3-2-4 double play.

"I was able to make pitches when I had to," Carpenter said. "That's what you're supposed to do as a starter."

Octavio Dotel relieved Carpenter and struck out Alfredo Amezaga to strand two Marlins in the seventh, Jason Motte and Marc Rzepczynski combined for a scoreless eighth, and Fernando Salas worked around a one-out walk in the ninth to earn his 21st save of the season.

Game Notes

Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez was sidelined for the third straight game with a left shoulder injury...Nolasco fell to 0-4 in his career against the Cardinals...Daniel Descalso had three of St. Louis' 14 hits...St. Louis goes for the sweep Sunday with Jaime Garcia starting opposite Javier Vazquez.