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Flaherty flawless, Molina mashes homer as Cardinals crush Marlins

St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina broke a 0-0 deadlock with a two-run homer to spark a win over the Miami Marlins on Wednesday in Miami. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina broke a 0-0 deadlock with a two-run homer to spark a win over the Miami Marlins on Wednesday in Miami. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

MIAMI, April 8 (UPI) -- The crack of Yadier Molina's wooden bat echoed throughout loanDepot park as he smacked a two-run homer over the left field fence and sparked a St. Louis Cardinals blowout of the Miami Marlins on Wednesday in Miami.

Cardinals ace Jack Flaherty and the Marlins' Pablo Lopez started the game in a pitcher's duel through the first six innings. The Cardinals offense then exploded down the stretch to win 7-0 and cap a road series sweep at loanDepot park.

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"[Molina] has been an elite player for years," Cardinals manager Mike Shildt told reporters Wednesday in a Zoom video conference. "Good players can beat you in a lot of ways

"We have a lot of players who can do that and Yadier is one of them."

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Molina's long ball plated the first two runs of the game. St. Louis plated five more runs in the final two innings.

Lopez and Flaherty each allowed one hit in the first inning. Flaherty did not allow another hit. Lopez kept pace, but ran into trouble in the seventh frame.

The Marlins starter started the inning with a strikeout of Nolan Arenado. He then forced Paul DeJong to line out and walked Matt Carpenter.

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Molina then stepped up to the plate and blasted a 427-foot bomb to break the game open. Lopez exited the game after he allowed the home run.

Paul Goldschmidt later plated Tommy Edman with an RBI single to left field in the top of the eighth inning. Dylan Carlson slammed the door on the Marlins hopes of a comeback when smacked a grand slam in the top of the final frame.

Flaherty had six strikeouts and issued four walks, in addition to his one hit allowed, in six shutout innings. Lopez allowed three hits and two runs and had six strikeouts and two walks in 6 2/3 innings for the Marlins.

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Edman went three for five with a run scored and a strikeout in the win.

"It definitely didn't go the way we wanted," Marlins manager Don Mattingly told reporters Wednesday in a Zoom video conference.

"It's disappointing to start the season like this, losing two series and getting swept in this one."

The Marlins (1-5) face the New York Mets at 1:10 p.m. EDT Thursday at Citi Field in Queens. The Cardinals (4-2) host the Milwaukee Brewers at 4:15 p.m. EDT Thursday at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

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