MIAMI (AP) — Yadier Molina hit a three-run homer and Kyle Lohse pitched into the eighth inning to lead the St. Louis Cardinals past the staggering Miami Marlins 5-2 on Tuesday night for their fifth straight victory.
One night after Molina's tying homer in the ninth inning keyed a huge comeback, St. Louis scored five unearned runs in the first.
The Marlins have lost eight of nine and are 3-17 in their last 20 games. Miami manager Ozzie Guillen was ejected for arguing balls and strikes with plate umpire Dan Bellino.
Lohse (7-2) allowed two runs and four hits while striking out four to lower his ERA to 2.82. Jason Motte pitched the ninth for his 16th save in 20 chances.
The Cardinals jumped out to a big early lead, aided by errors from Marlins starter Carlos Zambrano (4-6) and shortstop Jose Reyes. Molina took advantage of the miscues with his 12th homer. Carlos Beltran had an RBI single.
Molina has homered in three straight games and is two shy of tying his career best set last season. His two-run shot with two outs in the ninth Monday night off Miami closer Heath Bell capped a four-run inning, and St. Louis went on to win 8-7 in 10 innings.
Giancarlo Stanton's 17th home run and Greg Dobbs' sacrifice fly pulled the Marlins to 5-2 on Tuesday.
Miami threatened in the sixth after Reyes and Hanley Ramirez reached, but Lohse got out of the jam when shortstop Rafael Furcal snagged a hard-hit grounder by Logan Morrison and turned a double play.
Guillen was tossed in the seventh. Following a walk issued by Zambrano to Allen Craig that loaded the bases, Guillen came out of the dugout to lift Zambrano. Guillen walked by Bellino to voice his displeasure with a call and was ejected. It was Guillen's first ejection as the Marlins' manager.
Zambrano pitched 6 2-3 innings, allowing five unearned runs and seven hits. He struck out five and walked five while throwing 73 of 125 pitches for strikes.
NOTES: Marlins lefty reliever Mike Dunn has recorded four straight perfect appearances. "If he throws the ball like he has, that's going to be a huge move for us," Guillen said. "It would be like trading for somebody. We need him very bad." ... Marlins RHP Anibal Sanchez (3-6, 3.94 ERA) will oppose RHP Joe Kelly (1-0, 3.52 in the series finale on Wednesday. Sanchez is 1-4 with a 6.49 ERA in his last six starts.