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St. Louis at Florida

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St. Louis (68-56) «0010002003100
Florida (63-59)000000000041

Ludwick drives in all three runs to help Cards down Marlins

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MIAMI -- Ryan Ludwick provided the offense, Todd Wellemeyer made sure the defense didn't have to do much, and together they gave the St. Louis Cardinals plenty of momentum to begin the stretch run.

Ludwick hit a two-run homer and a run-scoring double, Wellemeyer pitched three-hit ball into the eighth inning and the Cardinals beat the Florida Marlins 3-0 on Thursday night.

The Cardinals headed for a weekend series in Cincinnati having won three of four from the Marlins, who dropped well off the pace of the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL East. St. Louis moved to within three games of Milwaukee in the NL wild-card race, after the Brewers lost 3-2 at San Diego to snap an eight-game winning streak.

"Winning three of four ... is huge, especially with Milwaukee losing," Wellemeyer said. "We finally get a game on the Brewers."

Wellemeyer (10-4) walked four and struck out three over 7 2/3 innings, his longest outing of the season. He previously had gone seven innings on four occasions.

Wellemeyer retired 13 straight hitters at one point before walking Hanley Ramirez with two out in the eighth. The Marlins went without a hit between Dan Uggla's lead-off single in the second and Luis Gonzalez's two-out single in the eighth.

Ludwick's two-run homer in the seventh opened a 3-0 lead.

Cesar Izturis led off with a single to left before Joe Mather flied out to right. Ludwick then sent Scott Olsen's 1-0 fastball over the wall in left-center for his 30th home run and RBI Nos. 89 and 90.

"It was a good night. I got on top of a pitch finally in that last at-bat," Ludwick said. "It felt good. I got a good pitch to hit and I drove it."

Ludwick has taken advantage of hitting in front of sluggers Albert Pujols and Troy Glaus.

"He's benefited from a productive team and he's taken advantage," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said.

Olsen (6-8) gave up three runs, 10 hits and struck out six in seven innings. He lost his fourth straight decision over his past five starts, during which Florida has averaged 2.4 runs.

"It's not from lack of (offensive) effort. It's just something some pitchers have to deal with more than others, and apparently that's me," Olsen said of the lack of run support.

Izturis, batting in the ninth spot, led off the third with a single. He then stole second and took third on first baseman Mike Jacobs's throwing error. After Mather flied out to short center, Ludwick lined a double into the left-field corner for a 1-0 lead.

Ludwick entered the game hitting .217 (5 for 23) on the road trip.

With two out in the eighth, Ramirez walked and Gonzalez singled softly to left. Wellemeyer was replaced by Russ Springer, who promptly struck out Jorge Cantu.

The Marlins were shut out for the eighth time this season and third time in the past nine games.

"It's just a funk," Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez said of his team's recent offensive struggles. "We believe in these guys. I believe in these guys."

Notes

  • Cardinals right-hander Chris Carpenter will miss his scheduled start Friday with a muscle strain in his right shoulder. Brad Thompson (4-2) will start in Carpenter's place at Cincinnati.
  • St. Louis RHP Adam Wainwright (finger sprain) will start for Double-A Springfield on Saturday.
  • The door to Gonzalez's office remained close for nearly 20 minutes after the game. When it opened, owner Jeffrey Loria, team president David Samson, president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest and general manager Mike Hill walked out. "We were kicking stuff around," Gonzalez said.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Todd Wellemeyer allows three hits in 7 2/3 innings, which is his longest outing of the season.  (AP)
Todd Wellemeyer allows three hits in 7 2/3 innings, which is his longest outing of the season. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

R. Ludwick
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
St. Louis

T. Wellemeyer
IP 7.2
H 3
ER 0
BB 4
K 3
 

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St. Louis Cardinals
Joe Mather, CF-LF5010002 .248
Ryan Ludwick, RF4123021 .304
Albert Pujols, 1B4000002 .342
Troy Glaus, 3B4010011 .275
Yadier Molina, C4000001 .300
Felipe Lopez, LF4020001 .240
    Skip Schumaker, CF0000000 .304
Aaron Miles, 2B4020001 .311
Todd Wellemeyer, P3000035 .140
    Russ Springer, P0000000 .000
   a- Rick Ankiel, PH1000010 .282
    Ron Villone, P0000000 .000
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000 .000
Cesar Izturis, SS4220000 .256
Totals37310307  
a-struck out for Springer in the 9th
Batting
2B - Ryan Ludwick (26, Olsen), Troy Glaus (30, Olsen), Aaron Miles (12, Olsen)
HR - Ryan Ludwick (30, Olsen)
RBI - Ryan Ludwick 3 (90)
SB - Cesar Izturis (16, 3rd base off Olsen/Baker)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Felipe Lopez 1
DP - Miles-Izturis-Pujols
St. Louis Cardinals
Todd Wellemeyer (W,10-4) 7.2300430 3.79
Russ Springer (H,10) 0.1000010 2.11
Ron Villone (H,12) 0.1000000 5.22
Ryan Franklin 0.2100010 3.49
HBP - Uggla (by Todd Wellemeyer)
WP - Ryan Franklin (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Todd Wellemeyer 112-67, Russ Springer 5-3, Ron Villone 4-2, Ryan Franklin 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Todd Wellemeyer 9-9, Ryan Franklin 1-0
Batters Faced - Todd Wellemeyer 29, Russ Springer 1, Ron Villone 1, Ryan Franklin 3
Florida Marlins
Hanley Ramirez, SS2000200 .294
Luis Gonzalez, LF4010001 .264
Jorge Cantu, 3B3010112 .282
Mike Jacobs, 1B4000004 .249
Dan Uggla, 2B3010020 .264
Jeremy Hermida, RF3000001 .256
    Logan Kensing, P0000000 .000
   a- Wes Helms, PH1010000 .254
John Baker, C4000011 .244
Alfredo Amezaga, CF2000100 .259
Scott Olsen, P1000000 .174
    Cody Ross, RF1000010 .256
Totals2804045  
a-singled for Kensing in the 9th
Batting
SH - Scott Olsen (7)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
E - Mike Jacobs (9, Throwing)
Florida Marlins
Scott Olsen (L,6-8) 71033061 4.03
Logan Kensing 2000010 4.00
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Olsen 106-75, Logan Kensing 18-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Olsen 6-9, Logan Kensing 2-3
Batters Faced - Scott Olsen 31, Logan Kensing 6
Game Information
Attendance - 15609
Game Time - 2:35
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - Ted Barrett, First Base - Dana DeMuth, Second Base - Lance Barksdale, Third Base - Doug Eddings