The Bottom Line: The Marlins pounded Cards’ rookie Marco Gonzales and the bullpen for 16 total hits en route to an 8-4 victory and series win that sent the Cardinals to third place in the NL Central. While the Cards’ bats came alive with four runs in the final three innings, it was too late in today’s rubber match at Busch Stadium. Marlins’ ace Henderson Alvarez (6-3, 2.27 ERA) conceded just one run in seven innings and helped himself out by hitting 3-for-3 on the day.

Marco Gonzales

Gonzales: Although rookie pitcher Marco Gonzales (0-2, 7.07 ERA) took the loss, he only allowed one run in his third career start. The first inning set the tone for the rest of Gonzales’ start, as he gave up four hits but only allowed one run in the inning. In total, Gonzales pitched 4.2 innings and gave up a whopping seven hits and five walks, but he miraculously only gave up one run. While Gonzales still looked shaky on the mound, Cards fans can take solace in the fact that he was able to pitch out of trouble throughout the game.

Wong homers in return: In his first game since being sidelined with a shoulder injury, Kolten Wong (2-for-4) jacked his second home run of the season with a solo shot to right field in the seventh inning to get the Cards on the board. The 416-foot homer snapped Wong’s 0-for-12 hitting slump and demonstrated that his shoulder seems to be just fine.

What’s Next: The Cards (47-42) kick off a critical four-game series versus the Pirates (47-41) in a battle for second place in the NL Central. Adam Wainwright (11-4, 1.89 ERA) will look to deliver a series-opening win for the Cards when he faces Charlie Morton (5-9, 3.30 ERA) tomorrow night at 7:15 CST at Busch Stadium.