The only thing that will make the Marlins happier than leaving St. Louis after Sunday’s game will be saying goodbye to the crew that umpired this three-game series.
The umpires botched a key play for the second consecutive day — this time directly costing the Marlins a run — as the Cardinals won 5-4 on Saturday in a game that appropriately ended on a Miami error.
Manager Mike Redmond wasn’t around in the ninth inning to see John Jay score from first base on pinch-hitter Shane Robinson’s two-out single. Jay had stopped at third but raced home when right fielder Giancarlo Stanton’s low throw got past the cutoff man, first baseman Logan Morrison.
The 45,475 in attendance at Busch Stadium began celebrating as the ball skipped under Morrison’s glove.
Redmond was ejected for the second time this year when Adeiny Hechavarria was called out at the plate by umpire Bill Welke in the fourth inning. Replays confirmed he was safe on the play.
“I thought he was clearly safe,” Redmond said. “I don’t know that he even tagged him. … We have two days where we have two calls go against us. It’s tough on these guys, man.”
On Friday night, Hechavarria was incorrectly called out at third by umpire Brian O’Nora on a force play that should have been wiped out when pitcher Jacob Turner was tagged out by the catcher on a bunt. The Cardinals went on to win 4-1.
On Saturday, Hechavarria was running on contact when pitcher Nathan Eovaldi chopped the ball to second baseman Matt Carpenter with one out.
“I was really shocked by (the call),” Hechavarria said. “Unfortunately it was one of the key plays of the game. We probably don’t lose if we get that run.”
Although catcher Tony Cruz’s left foot blocked Hechavarria’s lead foot on the slide, Hechavarria’s back leg swiped the plate before the tag.
Welke told Redmond he thought Hechavarria never touched the plate. Then he made sure Redmond wouldn’t be around to watch the rest of the game.
“It’s tough to beat these guys on the road, especially when you’re not getting any breaks,” Redmond said.
And when you are giving away runs.
The ending was as disappointing as any this season. Reliever A.J. Ramos retired the first two batters in the ninth before walking Jay. Robinson, who entered the at-bat hitting .217, hit a 3-2 pitch to right field that Stanton fielded cleanly. When it got past Morrison, Jay, who had stopped at third, scored easily.
Stanton was charged with the error.
“I don’t know if it actually hit the ground or was an in-between hop,” said Morrison, who gave the Marlins a 3-0 lead in the top of the third with a two-run homer, his second in two games and third in the last four games.
“I was trying to get it before it hit the ground. I should have just played it back or let it go, because it was online.”
Stanton was unavailable for comment after the game.
Miami was in that situation because Mike Dunn gave up a two-out, two-strike, two-run homer to pinch-hitter Matt Adams in the seventh that tied the score at 4. Dunn replaced Eovaldi, who allowed three runs on five hits in 6 2/3 innings.
“It was pretty much in the only location he could hit it out of the ballpark,” Dunn said. “It was just a terrible pitch.”
It was Adams’ second home run off a lefty in his career. He has seven off right-handers.
Derek Dietrich hit his eighth homer of the year leading off the fourth to give the Marlins a 4-2 lead.
Noteworthy: Stanton ended an 0-for-17 streak with an infield single in the fifth. He is 3-for-25 in his last seven games, all singles.