MIAMI -- It took a few minutes, but the umpires' verdict was worth the wait for the Miami Marlins.
John Buck and pinch hitter Logan Morrison connected for consecutive home runs in the seventh inning, rallying the Marlins past St. Louis 5-3 Wednesday night and ending their eight-game losing streak against the Cardinals.Buck tied it with one out when he homered off Fernando Salas. Morrison then sent a drive off Sam Freeman (0-1) that hit the top of the right-field fence, bounced off a nearby railing and dropped back into play."I thought it hit the back of the concrete and went out, I didn't even know it came back onto the field," Morrison said.After being stopped at second base while the umpires reviewed the play, Morrison was allowed to finish his home-run trot. It was Morrison's first career pinch-hit home run."Thank God we had instant replay because if not that would have been double," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "It also helps the umpires. I don't think it killed anybody in baseball for that idea. It helped the game."The Cardinals had won five in a row overall. Miami won for just the second time in 10 games."Any time you beat the Cardinals, it's a good win especially when they're playing that well," Buck said. "Hopefully it can be momentum we can build on and start our own little stretch here."Tony Cruz's first career homer in the top of the seventh put the Cardinals ahead 3-2."I was just looking for a good pitch to hit and I got it," Cruz said. "Thankfully, it went out. It's a great feeling. I had a lot of family here tonight. They knew I was playing. I thank (manager) Mike (Matheny) for giving me the opportunity of letting me play in front of my family. Unfortunately, we didn't get the win, though."Buck has seven home runs this season, including three in his last six games. This was the second time the Marlins have hit back-to-back home runs this season -- Justin Ruggiano and Morrison accomplished the feat on June 1 at Philadelphia."Any time Buck is at the plate we know he has a chance to hit the ball out of the ballpark," Guillen said. "We need that from him."Omar Infante's RBI double in the eighth gave the Marlins an insurance run.Anibal Sanchez (4-6) ended his three-game losing streak, allowing three runs in seven innings."We have a great team so if we keep playing like that we can start winning a lot of games," Sanchez said.Steve Cishek pitched the eighth and Heath Bell recorded his 15th save in 19 chances by pitching the ninth. He got Allen Craig to pop up with Matt Carpenter on second to end the game."Five consecutive wins is always a positive," Matheny said. "Guys are always going to remember that. That was a good run."The Cardinals took a 2-0 lead on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Beltran and an RBI double by David Freese.The Marlins tied it at 2 in the fifth against Joe Kelly on an RBI single by Buck and a groundout by Jose Reyes.
Cruz, a 25-year-old backup catcher, homered in his 117th career at-bat. ... Guillen is hoping his team can duplicate the Miami Heat's success in capturing a championship. "Having the Miami Heat winning, to me, was an inspiration," Guillen said. "I hope for the players, too. When I saw those guys in the parade talking, I got jealous. I want to be them. I wish I was the coach. That's my inspiration for the rest of my career here in Miami." ... Both teams will have the day off on Thursday before St. Louis hosts Pittsburgh, with RHP Adam Wainwright (6-7, 4.32 ERA) opposing RHP Kevin Correia (3-6, 4.03 ERA). The Marlins will host Philadelphia and will start LHP Mark Buehrle (6-8, 3.55 ERA) on Friday.