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STL@MIA: Stanton puts on a show for the Miami crowd

MIAMI -- Giancarlo Stanton hit a pair of home runs and also displayed his defensive skills in the field Monday night to lead the Marlins to a 6-5 win against the visiting Cardinals.

The Marlins staved off a ninth-inning rally by St. Louis as closer Steve Cishek notched his 30th save to give Miami its Major League-leading 29th one-run win this season.

Tom Koehler picked up his first career win against the Cardinals, thanks to a pair of home runs from Stanton, a productive offensive night from Christian Yelich and a bunch of stellar defensive plays by the Marlins.

Stanton played a pivotal role both offensively and defensively as the Marlins opened a nine-game homestand with an all-around solid performance against the defending National League champions at Marlins Park. The victory improved Miami's record to 3-1 against St. Louis this season.

Stanton launched his second homer of the game in the third inning, a monstrous shot to deep left-center field that was estimated to travel 470 feet. It came on a 2-2 pitch with two outs and gave the Marlins a 3-0 lead, and also tied Stanton for the Major League lead with 31 home runs on the season.

It was Stanton's 148th career homer, tying Hanley Ramirez for second on the Marlins' all-time home run list. Dan Uggla is the franchise leader with 154.

It's Stanton's fourth multi-homer game of the season and the 13th of his career, making him the franchise leader in that category, surpassing Ramirez. The Miami slugger also made a sensational catch in the fifth inning that earned him a resounding ovation from the fans.

"That was really cool. They appreciate things like that," Stanton said of the applause for his defensive effort.

Redmond could not say enough about the game Stanton delivered in an important win that inches the Marlins closer to the .500 mark.

"He was definitely trying to take that game over, not only with his bat but his glove," Redmond said. "An amazing effort."

Stanton staked Miami to an early 2-0 lead when he deposited a 0-1 fastball from Cardinals starter Shelby Miller into the Marlins' bullpen in right field in the bottom of the first inning. Yelich, who led off with a double, scored ahead of Stanton. Yelich was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI from the leadoff spot in Redmond's lineup.

Koehler turned in a commendable outing for all but one inning, going five-plus innings, allowing three runs on eight hits with five strikeouts and two walks before being lifted after 80 pitches.

The Cardinals knotted the score with a three-run fourth inning off Koehler, the big blast coming on a two-run homer by Jon Jay, his third of the season.

The Marlins regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth when Adeiny Hechavarria lined a triple down the right-field line that scored Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Yelich then delivered an RBI single that stretched Miami's lead to 5-3.

The Marlins added another run in the seventh to take a 6-3 lead. Yelich and Jordany Valdespin had back-to-back singles, and Yelich scored from second on a wild pitch by Sam Freeman and a throwing error by Cardinals catcher A.J. Pierzynski.

Stanton and Yelich each made outstanding defensive plays. Stanton snagged an over-the-shoulder catch on a drive to deep right field that robbed Kolten Wong of an extra-base hit in the top of the fifth. Yelich made a sliding catch in foul territory down the left-field line to retire Matt Carpenter in the third.

Hechavarria also had a defensive gem when he ranged from his shortstop position behind second base to start a double play that ended the Cards' half of the fifth. Valdespin also had a crafty defensive play when the Marlins second baseman gloved a grounder between first and second in the outfield grass to rob Oscar Taveras of a hit in the second. Valdespin also started a double play in the eighth.

"That right there is the definition of a team win," said Koehler, who was relieved by Chris Hatcher. "I can't be happier with the way the guys played behind me tonight. I had to battle in the fourth and fifth and I put the team kind of in a jam in the sixth, and Hatch came in and did an outstanding job."

Redmond credited Hatcher's perfect inning of relief in the sixth as the key to the win.

"For me, that was probably the ballgame right there," he said.

The Marlins had 11 hits, one less than the Cardinals, but Miami was able to gain a little ground on the NL East-leading Nationals thanks to Stanton's blasts and a bunch of defensive gems.

"I don't think I've had that many top-notch plays in the course of a season," Koehler said. "If you watch SportsCenter tonight, there's no reason why we shouldn't have all 10. It was unbelievable."

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