The Miami Marlins were on their way to a win to end the first half before Heath Bell imploded again and blew the save to hand the St. Louis Cardinals are 5-4 victory. It was the sixth blown save for Bell who would have a few more than that if not for being bailed out earlier this year by other relievers. The loss was the second in a row for Miami who finished the first half a very disappointing 41-44.
Anibal Sanchez was in line for a victory after tossing six great innings in which he allowed two runs on five hits. The right-hander struck out three and walked none before being lifted in favor of a pinch hitter. With only 78 pitches thrown, it’s possible Sanchez would’ve been able to go the distance if offense wasn’t needed at the time. Mike Dunn (7) and Steve Cishek (12) each earned a hold by combining on two scoreless innings. In the ninth, Bell allowed three runs while only retiring two hitters. The loss was Bell’s fifth of the year and came with two relievers warming in the bullpen. The Marlins’ closer who may lose that title to start the second half walked two and gave up three hits.
The big blast of the day came courtesy of Austin Kearns who hit a three run pinch-hit home run in the seventh inning with Miami trailing by one at the time. It was the fourth home run of the year for Kearns who had been struggling as of late off the bench. The only other extra base hit on the day was hit by Omar Infante who collected his 23rd double of the season.
The Marlins are off for the All-Star Break and will resume play on Friday against the Washington Nationals at Marlins Park. The scheduled starters are Josh Johnson and Stephen Strasburg.