Voit’s home run helps Car­di­nals slip past Mar­lins

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL -

CAR­DI­NALS 4, MAR­LINS 3

ST. LOUIS — Luke Voit is liv­ing his child­hood dream with his home­town St. Louis Car­di­nals.

And the Car­di­nals are reap­ing the ben­e­fits.

The rookie first base­man hit his se­cond home run and drove in three runs to help the Car­di­nals beat the Mi­ami Mar­lins 4-3 on Thurs­day.

"What a great day for Luke," Car­di­nals man­ager Mike Ma­theny said. " ... This kid con­tin­ues to take great at-bats in big sit­u­a­tions and it's hard not to have him in the lineup when he's swing­ing like he is."

Voit, who also dou­bled, started for the fourth con­sec­u­tive day at first base. He has seven RBIs dur­ing the month of July, tied for the team lead with out­fielder Tommy Pham, and is hit­ting .333 through his first 11 games in the ma­jors.

"I'm just try­ing to do my job and try to drive in runs, es­pe­cially hit­ting in those key sit­u­a­tions," Voit said. "I'm glad I'm help­ing the team win."

"He's been a game-changer so far," said Jedd Gy­orko, who also had two hits.

The Car­di­nals, who had lost two straight, earned a four-game se­ries split after win­ning the pre­vi­ous two se­ries against the Di­a­mond­backs and Na­tion­als.

The Car­di­nals' eight hits backed an­other good out­ing from Michael Wacha (6-3), who al­lowed two runs and six hits in 52/3 in­nings. He struck out nine and walked two.

Mar­cell Ozuna had three hits and three RBIs for the Mar­lins. Dee Gor­don had two hits, scored three runs and stole two bases.

Mi­ami starter Tom Koehler (14) al­lowed three runs and four hits over five in­nings. He struck out seven and walked three. The two hits by Voit were costly.

"An 0-2 curve­ball that was sup­posed to get buried and didn't get there and an 1-0 slider that he did a good job driv­ing the other way," Koehler said. "That's a strong boy.

He's got a good swing."

The Mar­lins took a 1-0 lead in the first in­ning on Ozuna's two-out RBI sin­gle.

Voit tied it with a solo homer in the se­cond in­ning. It trav­eled an es­ti­mated 446 feet and landed in the Big Mac Land sec­tion of the se­cond deck, the first Car­di­nal to hit a home run there this sea­son.

"That's some­thing I grew up want­ing to do my whole life," said Voit, who grew up idol­iz­ing for­mer Car­di­nals slug­ger Mark McGwire. "To do it here is pretty sweet. I'm def­i­nitely go­ing to re­mem­ber that for­ever."

Ozuna made it 2-1 with a bro­ken-bat RBI sin­gle to right in the third.

Voit had a two-out, two-run dou­ble off the right field wall in the third to put the Car­di­nals ahead 3-2.

Ran­dal Grichuk hit a solo home run, his eighth, in the sixth to make it 4-2.

Ozuna added an­other RBI sin­gle in the sev­enth.

Car­di­nals closer Se­ung Hwan Oh capped off a strong per­for­mance by the St. Louis bullpen. He al­lowed a lead­off sin­gle in the ninth, but locked down his 17th save in 20 chances.

BREW­ERS 11, CUBS 2

Ryan Braun home­red to ig­nite a seven-run third in­ning and the Mil­wau­kee Brew­ers beat the Chicago Cubs for their fourth straight vic­tory. Braun went 1-for-2 with two walks and two RBIs be­fore be­ing lifted fol­low­ing the sixth be­cause of the lop­sided score. Domingo San­tana had four hits and two RBIs and Je­sus Aguilar added three hits and an RBI. Will­son Con­tr­eras home­red for the Cubs, who have not won con­sec­u­tive games since a three­game win­ning streak June 18-20.

AMER­I­CAN LEAGUE BLUE JAYS 7, ASTROS 4

Rus­sell Martin home­red and matched a sea­son high with three hits, Josh Don­ald­son broke out of his slump with a go-ahead sin­gle and Toronto beat Hous­ton. Fran­cisco Liri­ano (5-4) pitched six solid in­nings and Roberto Osuna con­verted his 21st con­sec­u­tive save op­por­tu­nity.

RAYS 4, RED SOX 1

Wil­son Ramos home­red and drove in three against Chris Sale de­spite the All-Star’s record-set­ting per­for­mance, rookie Jake Faria re­mained un­beaten and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Bos­ton Red Sox. Sale (114) struck out 12 while giv­ing up four runs and seven hits in seven in­nings. He be­came the first Red Sox pitcher to strike out 10 or more in 12 games be­fore the All-Star break, sur­pass­ing the 11 games of Pe­dro Martinez in 1999.

IN­TER­LEAGUE INDIANS 11, PADRES 2

Edwin En­car­na­cion home­red and matched a ca­reer high with four hits, All-Star Jose Ramirez hit a home run and had three RBIs, and the Cleve­land Indians, play­ing their third straight game with­out man­ager Terry Francona, de­feated the San Diego Padres.

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