Series: Game 1 of 3

St. Louis leads 1-0 (as of 5/14)

Game 1: Friday, May 14
St. Louis6
Game 2: Saturday, May 15
St. Louis4
Game 3: Sunday, May 16
St. Louis2

Marlins 3

(20-15, 11-9 away)

Cardinals 6

(19-17, 9-12 home)

    8:10 PM ET, May 14, 2004

    Busch Stadium I, St. Louis, Missouri 

    123456789 R H E
    FLA 010000011 3 8 0
    STL 12000300 - 6 9 0

    W: J. Marquis (2-3)

    L: J. Beckett (3-3)

    S: J. Isringhausen (7)

    Beckett gives up six runs in six innings

    ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Taking on the best pitchers in the National League is becoming a routine occurrence for Jason Marquis.

    Marquis added World Series MVP Josh Beckett to the list of pitchers he has outperformed with a dominant outing Friday night, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Florida Marlins 6-3.

    He faced Randy Johnson and Roy Oswalt in his last two starts but did not get a decision in St. Louis' two victories.

    "I just go out there and try to pitch," Marquis said. "I can't worry about who I'm facing. I just try to pitch my game and let my teammates take care of the rest."

    Ray Lankford homered, Hector Luna had two RBI singles and Jim Edmonds doubled twice, drove in a run and scored twice to help the Cardinals win for the fourth time in five games.

    Beckett, who shut out the Yankees in Game 6 to clinch the World Series title, gave up six runs on nine hits in six innings. He had allowed only two earned runs in 14 innings in his previous two starts.

    "Too many balls right down the middle of the plate," Beckett said. "You can't do that. I felt good; I thought I had good stuff."

    The loss dropped Beckett to .500 this season (3-3) and for his career (20-20).

    "It was a battle," Beckett said. "I was lucky I got six innings in. We lost, and that's the main thing."

    Marquis (2-3) allowed two runs on five hits in 7 2-3 innings with two strikeouts and two walks. He retired 13 of 14 batters between the second and sixth innings and the Marlins didn't strand a runner until leaving two on in the seventh.

    Marquis had been 0-2 in his previous four starts despite a 2.73 ERA in that span.

    Lankford hit his fourth homer, and first in 61 at-bats since April 21, with one out in the first.

    "I was thinking I was going to go home and play with the PlayStation and hit one or something, see how it feels," Lankford said. "It was good to put us on the board early and I think that kind of gave us momentum offensively."

    Florida tied it in the second when Miguel Cabrera hit a leadoff double and scored from third on a delayed double play that ended the inning. But the Cardinals took the lead for good in the bottom half with two runs on four straight inning-opening hits.

    Luna, who started at shortstop in place of injured Edgar Renteria, and Mike Matheny each had RBI singles in the inning.

    The Cardinals also started fast in a three-run sixth with a walk and two hits, including an RBI double by Edmonds. Marlon Anderson added a sacrifice fly and Luna had his second run-scoring single to make it 6-1.

    After pinch-hitter Wil Cordero's RBI single off the base of the left-field wall left runners on first and third with two outs in the eighth, Jason Isringhausen relieved and got the last four outs, but gave up a run in the ninth, for his seventh save in eight chances.

    Game notes

    Cardinals farmhand Brad Thompson tied a Southern League record with 43 1-3 consecutive scoreless innings, throwing six shutout innings for the Double-A Tennessee Smokies on Friday. The previous record was 43 innings. He has 52 straight scoreless innings dating to last season, two shy of the minor league record by Urban Shocker in 1916. ... Lankford is the career homer leader at Busch Stadium with 122. He's in his 14th season -- 11 with the Cardinals -- and his first three homers this season came on the road. ... Matheny's RBI single in the second was his first with a hit since April 11. ... Albert Pujols hadn't walked in 43 plate appearances before walking in consecutive at-bats in the third and sixth. ... Marquis has a 1.80 ERA on the road but had been 1-2 with a 5.11 ERA in his first four home starts. ... Cardinals LHP Ray King had a lengthy argument with 1B umpire Jerry Crawford after getting removed in the eighth, and was ejected. King was unhappy about a checked swing call that would have struck out Cordero, the only batter he faced. ... Renteria, who sat with lower back pain, said there's a chance he could play Saturday.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press