Matt Carpenter continued to dominate everything in sight, Yadier Molina drove in three runs, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Miami Marlins 7-1 on Wednesday night for yet another series win.

Mike Shildt’s insistence on batting Yadi second paid off in the first inning when Molina hit a solo home run to left field off of Marlins starter Trevor Richards to give the Cardinals an early 1-0 lead.

The lead was short-lived, however, as Cardinals starter John Gant ran into some trouble in the second inning that resulted in Miguel Rojas driving in Starlin Castro to tie the game at 1-1

The Cardinal offense struggled to hit anything off of Richards for most of the night, who ended up striking out seven batter. Things changed in the top of the sixth when (who else?) Matt Carpenter launched a breaking ball into the right field seats for his 31st home run of the year. He continues to lead the National League in home runs along with just about every other major offensive category.

Later in the inning, Marcell Ozuna came up big against his former team with an RBI double to left that scored Jose Martinez, who was running on the pitch. Jose Oquendo waved Martinez home from third, and he was able to just beat out Derek Dietrich’s throw to the plate for a 3-1 St. Louis lead. This was the end of the night for Richards.

Outside of the second inning, it was a pretty efficient night for John Gant. He allowed just one run and two hits over six innings, retired 14 batters in a row at one point, and threw five 1-2-3 innings. One of the best performances we’ve seen from the right hander this year.

Harrison Bader pinch ran for Jose Martinez in the eighth, and ended up stealing second on a wild pitch, but his head-first slide into second base ended up being less of a slide and more of a…faceplant. He seemed to suffer a small cut above the eye from when his batting helmet flew off and hit him in the face, but he stayed in the game.

Our old pal Kyle Barraclough intentionally walked Ozuna to get to Paul DeJong, and the decision backfired mightily. DeJong sent a rocket down the third base line to score two runs, making it 5-1 Cardinals.

Things only got worse for the Marlins in the ninth, when a deep fly ball off the bat of Molina just got under the glove of Brian Anderson in right field, scoring two runs to make it 7-1 Cardinals. Mike Mayers took care of business in the bottom of the inning, and that was the ballgame.

One quick game note: Adolis Garcia made his Major League debut tonight wearing Tommy Pham’s old uniform number, since it’s apparently easier to just replace the nameplate on a jersey than get a new one. He struggled in his first game, going 0 for 4 with a pair of strikeouts.

The Cardinals now sit at 60-55 on the year, and have won their last four series heading into a three game set in Kansas City this weekend. It’s never realistic to expect a sweep in any series, but…a sweep would be ideal for the Cardinals’ wild card chances.

Also, I’d like to point out that the Cardinals’ 13 wins since Mike Matheny was fired are tied for the most in the National League during that span.

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