The Miami Marlins extended their win streak to three games on Friday with a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. The game had a first pitch temperature of 103 degrees which tied a Marlins’ record for heat. It continued a recent trend for Miami of playing in extreme heat after a series in Milwaukee. The win moved the Marlins back to one game under .500 and extended their lead over last place Philadelphia to five games.
Ricky Nolasco improved to 8-6 by allowing only an unearned run in six innings of work. Nolasco struck out four and walked one while allowing nine hits. The 86 pitches thrown by Nolasco probably would have allowed him to work at least another inning but the veteran was lifted with a pinch hitter. Mike Dunn (6) and Steve Cishek (11) each earned holds with scoreless outings. In the ninth, things were shaky again for Heath Bell but he was able to pick up his 19th save thanks in part to a great play by Omar Infante.
Justin Ruggiano stayed hot going 2-4 to lift his average to .405. Ruggiano who was acquired in a minor league deal has to be considered the biggest surprise of 2012 thus far for Miami. Logan Morrison hit his 11th home run of the season in the eighth inning to give the Marlins a two run lead. That proved big as Bell allowed a run in the bottom of the ninth. Morrison’s home run was the only extra base hit on the day for Miami.
The Marlins will try to make it four wins in a row on Saturday in a game that is expected to be played under more record temperatures. The scheduled starters are Kyle Lohse and Carlos Zambrano.