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Marlins pack a punch with five homers

Marlins pack a punch with five homers

at Jupiter, Fla.
Wednesday, March 12

Cardinals at the plate: Three home runs through three innings powered St. Louis to a six-run lead. Albert Pujols blasted a two-run shot in the third inning and Ryan Ludwick added a three-run drive. Pujols now has four homers and six RBIs this spring. Only two of the five runs were earned. Troy Glaus connected on his first home run of the spring, a drive to left to open the second inning. Brian Barton homered in the ninth, ending a string of 13-straight Marlins runs.

Marlins at the plate: Luis Gonzalez's first homer of the spring, a three-run shot in the sixth inning capped a four-run frame that put Florida ahead. Hanley Ramirez went 3-for-3 with a walk and a home run. In the fourth inning, back-to-back homers by Jorge Cantu and Cameron Maybin got the Marlins back into the game after they trailed 6-0. Matt Treanor doubled to open the third inning and he scored on Ramirez's RBI single to center. The Marlins broke it open in the eighth with five runs. Maybin connected on a three-run homer, his second blast of the game.

Cardinals on the mound: Anthony Reyes gave up three runs, including two homers, on six hits in four innings. He struck out six and threw 58 pitches. Ryan Franklin was tagged for a homer by Ramirez on the first pitch he threw.

Marlins on the mound: Gaby Hernandez, who is in the hunt for a back-end-of-the-rotation spot, was victimized by the long ball. The right-hander allowed three homers through three innings. Of the six runs he allowed, three were earned. He struck out three and gave up five hits, while compiling 55 pitches (37 for strikes). Chris Volstad worked four innings of scoreless relief.

Grapefruit League records: Marlins 11-6-1, Cardinals 5-9.

Up next Cardinals: Thursday finds the Cardinals playing at Roger Dean Stadium for the third straight day, though unlike on Wednesday, they'll actually be considered the home team. They'll send Braden Looper to the mound at 1:05 p.m. ET to face his former teammates with the Mets. Looper, one of only two pitchers in the Cards' rotation who is anything close to a certainty at this point, will be trying to bounce back from an awful game against the Braves over the weekend.

Up next Marlins: On Thursday, the Marlins travel to Viera, Fla., for a night game with the Nationals at 7:05 ET. Mark Hendrickson will make the start. Washington is going with Tim Redding. With so many ailments to the rotation, Hendrickson may be the leading candidate to start the March 31 opener against the Mets at Dolphin Stadium.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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