MIAMI -- On a night the Marlins suffered a significant blow to their rotation, the offense stepped up with seven extra-base hits, including a two-run homer from Marcell Ozuna, in an 11-0 win over the Cardinals at Marlins Park on Saturday.
The Marlins were rolling along early, getting to Cardinals lefty Jaime Garcia for four runs in the first inning, before concern struck in the fourth. Colin Rea, acquired from the Padres on Friday, exited in the fourth inning with a sore right elbow. David Phelps picked up the next 2 2/3 innings, and the Marlins coasted to a victory that pulled them even with the Cards for the second National League Wild Card spot.
More on Rea's injury will be known in a couple of days after further evaluations.
"We obviously easy needed the win," Phelps said. "But not at that cost. Hopefully it's nothing, but you never like to see a starter come out of a game when you're strapped for starters to begin with. Hopefully we get good news."
Staked to an early four-run lead, Rea was cruising through three innings, allowing just one hit and no walks. But in the fourth inning, he motioned to the dugout after he struck out Jedd Gyorko on his 44th and final pitch of the night.
"Going into it, I felt good. It was nice to be here," Rea said. "The guys were awesome when I got here, very welcoming. I was feeling good. It's just unfortunate. There is never good timing for this, but this definitely isn't a good time. You just get to a new team. You kind of feel like you let your teammates down a little bit, I guess. It's tough. I guess it's just part of it."
Ozuna's two-run homer in the first punctuated a four-run inning. Dee Gordon started things off with a double on Garcia's first pitch. Christian Yelich had an RBI double and Giancarlo Stanton ripped a run-scoring single.
"It was one of those games where you're really knocked on your heels," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "We were put in a bad spot right in the top."
Yelich also drove in a run in a four-run fourth. He and Jeff Mathis each had three hits to lead Miami's 12-hit attack.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Sore elbow derails Rea: Everything was going so smoothly for Rea, who found himself pitching at Marlins Park for the first time. The right-hander was dealing for 3 1/3 innings before he waved, with his glove, to the dugout after striking out Gyorko on an 86.8-mph two-seam fastball. He struck out four, but was replaced after 44 pitches, 28 for strikes. Rea dealt with a sore elbow last year with the Padres, and was shut down on Sept. 8, 2015.
"I just kind of felt something in my elbow, and it gradually got worse throughout the game," Rea said. "I don't know if I could have thrown another pitch. We'll see. We don't know anything yet."
Short rest, short start: The Cardinals' decision to start Garcia on three days' rest for the first time in his career did not reap much reward. Fifteen pitches into Garcia's night, he had already allowed four runs and forced the Cardinals to start getting Tyler Lyons loose in the 'pen. Lyons had been a candidate to draw the start before the Cards opted to bring Garcia back early. Garcia lasted 3 1/3 innings before being removed with a pitch count of 59.
"My mentality the last couple years has just been to go out there and compete with what you have," Garcia said. "They asked me if I was willing to [start on short rest]. I made a decision to go out there and take the ball. [My stuff] was good enough to compete. No excuse again. I just didn't execute the pitches the way I wanted it to." More >
Phelps picks up slack: You've heard of utility players. But Phelps frequently jokes that he's a utility pitcher, because in his career he's done everything from start, spot start, pitch long relief, set up and close. He's been mostly used in the seventh and eighth innings this year, but Rea's injury forced him to be used in a long role on Saturday. Phelps entered under difficult circumstances, but kept the Cards off the board.
"I took my time out there," Phelps said. "That's one of the things [manager Don Mattingly] said to me on the mound was, 'Just make sure you're good to go.' The biggest thing was just going out and making sure I was ready. I was able to go out and just get ready to throw."
No relief: Lyons had a chance to help Garcia off the hook in the fourth inning and keep the Marlins from extending their five-run lead. Instead, the game unraveled under his watch. Lyons allowed one inherited run and two others to score to put the Marlins ahead, 8-0. With the game out of hand at that point, the Cardinals let long reliever Jerome Williams pitch the rest of the way so as not to tax the rest of the bullpen.
"If we can keep it close, there might be a chance that we keep [Lyons] in longer and see if we can stretch him," Matheny said. "But then it became obvious that we just needed to get Jerome in and finish it up."
"Then we're able to add on, which was good. They have a dangerous club and can put some runs on the board." -- Mattingly on breaking the game open
ICHIRO REMAINS TWO AWAY
On a night he wasn't in the starting lineup, Ichiro Suzuki still managed to get two at-bats and another couple of cracks at reaching 3,000 hits. But the 42-year-old was unable to make up any ground on his quest to be the 30th player in MLB history to reach the milestone. Ichiro replaced Stanton in the sixth inning with Miami ahead, 8-0, and got his two at-bats against Williams, grounding out to second in the sixth inning and lifting a fly ball to left in the eighth. Ichiro remains on 2,998 hits.
WHAT'S NEXT Cardinals:Carlos Martinez will start for the Cardinals at 12:10 p.m. CT on Sunday as they wrap up a four-game series in Miami. Martinez, who was the first St. Louis starter to 10 wins this season, went 1-1 with a 5.12 ERA in a pair of starts against the Marlins last year.
Marlins:Andrew Cashner, acquired from the Padres on Friday, makes his Miami debut on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. ET. The right-hander was 4-7 (4.76) in 16 starts with San Diego. He has faced St. Louis twice this year, going 1-0 with a 1.54 ERA.