A towering, two-run home run into the right field bullpen by Marlins outfielder Derek Dietrich opened the scoring in the third inning. Miami never let up.
Rookies and veterans alike had tough games in Wednesday night’s 11-3 loss.
Miami outfielder Lewis Brinson went 3-5 with a pair of home runs, second baseman and former-Cub Starlin Castro went 4-6, Dietrich went 4-5 with a home run and three RBI, and catcher J.T. Realmuto went 3-4 with an RBI.
Starter Jack Flaherty, who has been impressive thus far in his rookie season, struggled in the Cardinals second straight loss to one of the worst teams in baseball. He gave up six runs, four of which were earned, and six hits in five innings pitched, earning him his second loss of the season.
Rookie shortstop Yairo Muñoz cost the Cardinals a few runs with a triad of errors.
Manager Mike Matheny made yet another questionable call to the bullpen after pulling Flaherty. Only down four runs with about half the game to go, a comeback was plausible.
Matheny called upon Brett Cecil, who gave up four earned runs in three outings heading into Wednesday. He continued his rough streak giving up a pair of runs, three hits and a walk in the sixth.
The lone bright spot in the blowout was rookie outfielder Harrison Bader. His energy never faltered, no matter the situation.
After reaching base on a double in the fourth, he found himself at third. Muñoz hit a shallow fly ball to right field and Bader made a beeline at the plate to score.
Bader made a pair of impressive throws in the top of the fifth inning that impressed as well. He gunned out Dietrich at second, robbing him of a double; and nearly threw out Realmuto at third on a throw from the furthest corner in right field that made it to third baseman Matt Carpenter on the fly.
Bader runs out every ground ball and gives it his all every play — a trait many Cardinals players seem to lack as of late. If they’re going to get out of this recent funk, that’s one problem they’ll have to fix.
In what happens in some blowouts, a position player took the mound. Jedd Gyorko gave up a home run to Brinson in his first inning pitched of his career.
Miles Mikolas (6-1, 2.49 ERA) and the Cardinals look to avoid a sweep as they take on the Marlins and Trevor Richards (0-2, 4.94 ERA) at 12:15 p.m. Thursday at Busch Stadium.