Jake Westbrook worked seven strong innings and Allen Craig had two RBIs for a lineup that spoiled Jacob Turner’s homecoming early on in the St. Louis Cardinals’ 4-1 victory over the Miami Marlins on Friday night.
Matt Holliday doubled twice with an RBI and Edward Mujica rebounded with the save 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.
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.
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.
Trevor Rosenthal struck out the side in the eighth and Mujica worked a perfect ninth with a pair of strikeouts for his 22nd save in 23 chances. He blew his first save opportunity of the year Thursday night in a loss to the Angels.
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 an apparent quick tagout. Molina pumped once before throwing to third and Adeiny Hechavarria was ruled out without a tag.
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.
— Associated Press —