Gonzales chips in on big day for Cards' bats

Backed by Peralta's homer, left-hander knocks RBI single against Marlins

Gonzales chips in on big day for Cards' bats

JUPITER, Fla. -- St. Louis starter Marco Gonzales allowed one run in 4 2/3 innings, delivered a momentum-changing RBI single and set the tone in the Cardinals' 7-1 win over the Marlins on Tuesday at Roger Dean Stadium.

Jhonny Peralta added a solo home run in a 3-for-3 performance. Miami right-hander Jarred Cosart was tagged for four runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings.

Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon had an RBI single in the third that pulled the score even at 1, but St. Louis pulled in front with three runs in the fourth. Gonzales delivered the go-ahead hit.

In the fifth inning, Peralta went deep off Bryan Morris to give St. Louis a 5-1 advantage. Following Morris on the hill for Miami was Steve Cishek, who allowed one run on two hits in two innings, striking out five.

Peralta's solo homer

Cosart labored, allowing at least two baserunners in each inning. The right-hander threw 64 pitches, 32 of which were strikes.

In the fourth inning, the Cardinals scored three runs with two outs to grab a 4-1 lead. Gonzales helped his cause with his single to right, and Matt Holliday, with the bases full, tapped a two-run single to center, ending Cosart's afternoon.

Holliday's two-run single

"That produced our biggest inning, him being able to make something happen," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Gonzales' single. "We're getting so much data about how much each out is worth, and these guys have to take it like it can change the course of a game, and today it did. You look at the numbers when a pitcher contributes offensively and what that does to the odds of us winning and them winning -- it should get their attention."

Each team got on the board in the third. Cosart worked out of jams in the first two innings, but in the third, the Cardinals cashed in a run on Matt Adams' fielder's-choice grounder to plate Matt Carpenter, who had singled.

Gonzales strikes out Stanton

In their half of the third, the Marlins broke through against Gonzales, who retired the first six he faced. Don Kelly led off with a double and scored on Gordon's RBI single with two outs. Christian Yelich also singled in the inning, and Giancarlo Stanton walked after crushing a foul fly to left that nearly cleared the bases.

Up next for the Cardinals: The Cardinals will enjoy their first of two off-days on Wednesday. Lance Lynn will throw a simulated game on Wednesday as he prepares for his next Grapefruit League start. Jaime Garcia, in the mix to be the club's fifth starter, will make his third start of the spring on Thursday at 12:05 p.m. CT against the Mets at Roger Dean Stadium.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.