Although he’s been encouraged by improvements the Marlins have made as an organization this year, Derek Jeter said Wednesday evening he wished he had an eraser that could get rid of this past week.
Jeter watched his ball club limp to its eighth defeat in its past nine games as it couldn’t muster more than two hits in a 7-1 defeat against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Marlins (47-69) were limited to three runs or fewer for the seventh consecutive game.
Cardinals’ pitchers retired 21 consecutive batters following Miguel Rojas’ single off starter John Gant in the second inning that drove in Martin Prado for the Marlins’ lone run of the game.
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“I feel like the team needs a day off right now,” Rojas said. “We have to regroup and try to come back with a mentality of who we want to be the rest of the way.”
Brian Anderson broke the string of futility with a single in the ninth inning.
But the Cardinals had settled the outcome with two runs in the sixth, eighth and ninth innings.
Marlins manager Don Mattingly credited Cardinals’ catcher Yadier Molina for calling great games behind the plate the entire series.
“We saw a lot of the same, but we talked about before the series that if you don’t stick to the game plan, Yadi will cut you up,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “He’s calling that game. Those young pitchers aren’t calling the game. And if you don’t stick with the game plan, he’s not going to give in. He knows you’ll chase or what you’ll swing at and we saw that the whole series.”
Mattingly cited J.T. Realmuto and Brian Anderson’s hitting struggles in the series at the top of the Marlins’ lineup.
Anderson went 2 for 12 for the three-game series.
Realmuto has struggled since the All-Star break, hitting .190 (12 for 63) since July 21.
“I just think they’re pitching him a little different too like what they did to [Anderson] early and he had to make an adjustment,” Mattingly said. “J.T. is seeing an awful lot of spin and trying to get the ball to go away from him, a lot of breaking stuff.”
Matt Carpenter reclaimed the National League lead in home runs in the sixth inning with a solo blast off rookie Trevor Richards that gave the Cardinals (60-55) the lead for good.
It was Carpenter’s career-best 31st home run of the season.
Marcell Ozuna followed with a double for his sixth hit of the series – his first in Miami since the Marlins traded him to the Cardinals.
Paul DeJong added two more runs with a double in the eighth inning off Kyle Barraclough, who pitched for the first time since being removed from his closer role.
Trevor Richards pitched 5 2/3 innings and gave up three runs on four hits beginning with a solo homer he surrendered to Yadier Molina on the game’s second at-bat. Richards struck out seven and walked two.
“[Carpenter] is seeing the ball well and I left a pitch up,” Richards said. “I threw him a changeup that was up in the zone and I wanted it for a strike but not there. He made me pay and that’s what hitters do.”
For the 13th time this season and for the sixth consecutive start, Richards held an opponent to three runs or fewer.
“It’s just making adjustments throughout the game and see what hitters are looking for and executing pitches,” Richards said.