Voit’s home run helps Cardinals slip past Marlins
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.