ST. LOUIS -- The Marlins displayed strong starting pitching, and they provided some power, belting two home runs. What they saw on Saturday afternoon was the importance of being efficient in all areas when facing a team like the Cardinals.
A walk in the ninth inning and a sloppy error cost the Marlins any chance of winning their weekend series at Busch Stadium.
Jon Jay walked with two outs and scored on Giancarlo Stanton's throwing error after Shane Robinson's single to right to give the Cardinals a bizarre walk-off, 5-4, comeback victory over the Marlins.
The Cardinals capitalized on Miami mistakes to win for the second straight day. With two outs in the ninth, A.J. Ramos walked Jay. Robinson delivered a pinch-hit single to right and Jay reached third easily. But Stanton's throw to first baseman Logan Morrison was low, and skipped towards home plate and Jay raced home with the decisive run.
"It was a mistake," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said of the decisive error. "An unfortunate way to lose a game. It's a tough place to win ballgames and I thought we had ourselves set up perfectly. It just didn't work out today."
Morrison said he tried to get the ball before it touched the ground, but couldn't.
"I should have just played it back or let it go, because it was online," Morrison said. "We should have won that game, there is no doubt about it. We didn't. It's over. That's why we play every day. That's why we're going to have a game at 1 o'clock, and go out and give it the college try."
Miami is now 2-3 on the road trip and looks to avoid being swept on Sunday.
A pivotal play came in the fourth inning when Adeiny Hechavarria was called out at home plate on a disputed call that led to Redmond being ejected.
"It's frustrating because those guys out there man they're busting their butt and they've been doing that all year, to have it go like that it's tough, it's tough on these guys," Redmond said.
Nathan Eovaldi was solid in 6 2/3 innings, and the right-hander was in line for the win before the Cardinals tied it on Matt Adams' pinch-hit, two-run homer off lefty Mike Dunn in the seventh.
"I was just trying to get a pitch elevated and get good wood on it to keep the line moving," Adams said. "That was just what we needed in that spot, we were down two and it would have been the top of the order coming through. He left a pitch up and I got the barrel on it."
Dunn had Adams in a 1-2 count, but the left-handed hitter deposited a 95-mph fastball into the Cardinals' bullpen in right, making it 4-4.
"I had him right where I wanted, had him 1-2, and just made a terrible pitch," Dunn said. "It just ran back over the plate, ran middle-in. It was pretty much in the only location he could hit it out of the ballpark was right there. It was just a terrible pitch."
Eovaldi was charged with three runs in a season-high 6 2/3 innings. At 97 pitches, his most in four starts, Eovaldi exited with a runner on first.
Morrison and Derek Dietrich homered for the Marlins.
Miami scored four times off St. Louis starter Joe Kelly, who was replaced after six innings.
Morrison continued to stay hot with his two-run homer to left-center in the third inning. Placido Polanco drew a walk, and with two outs, Morrison connected on his third home run of the series, and second in as many games.
Miami has hit a homer in five straight games -- all on the road trip -- matching a season high previously done June 21-26.
Dietrich chipped in with a home run of his own to start off the fourth inning, his eighth of the season.
Also in the fourth inning was the crucial out at the plate and ejection.
In dispute was an out called on Hechavarria, who was trying to score on Eovaldi's grounder to second. Matt Carpenter threw home, and catcher Tony Cruz applied the tag on Hechavarria's back. Umpire Bill Welke ruled out, although TV replays showed his foot touched safely.
"Unfortunately, it was one of the key plays of the game," Hechavarria said. "We probably don't lose if we get that run."
Redmond has now been ejected twice this season.
"I thought he was clearly safe," the manager said. "I don't know that he even tagged him. From the side the slide, he was way in front of the tag. That's it. I thought he was clearly safe."