Marlins outfielder JT Riddle wiped out two months of frustration with one swing of the bat.
Riddle hit a two-run homer in the 11th inning, Zac Gallen was effective in his major league debut and Miami beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-6 on Thursday night.
Brian Anderson also went deep and drove in two runs for the Marlins, who earned a split of the four-game series.
Riddle connected off Andrew Miller (3-3) with one out for a 7-5 lead.
“It felt good,” Riddle said. “I put a good swing on it and squared it up.”
Miller said he missed location.
“I threw it right down the middle,” he explained. “Generally, I’m better with it.”
Rookie infielder Tommy Edman homered for the Cardinals, who rallied from 4-1 and 5-3 deficits to tie it.
On deck, Albert Pujols returns Friday for his first game in St. Louis since leaving to sign a $240 million contract with the Angels before the 2012 season.
The slugger won three NL MVP awards and made nine All-Star teams with the Cardinals, leading them to World Series championships in 2006 and 2011. He is sixth on the career list with 645 home runs.
Jarlin Garcia (1-0) got the win with two innings of relief, and Sergio Romo closed for his 13th save in 14 chances. He gave up a two-out RBI double to Yadier Molina, but ended the game by picking off pitcher Jack Flaherty at second base.
Flaherty was pinch-running for Molina.
“I put him in that spot,” St. Louis manager Mike Shildt said. “The reality is he wasn’t prepped well enough and I take responsibility for that.”
Edman tied it 5-all with a two-run homer off Tayron Guerrero in the eighth. It was Edman’s first career round-tripper and it came in his 10th at-bat.
Gallen gave up one run and five hits in five innings. He struck out six and walked two.
“It was awesome,” Gallen said. “I mixed my pitches pretty well. We threw a lot of off-speed (stuff) and kept them on their toes.”
St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright allowed three runs and six hits over 5 1/3 innings in his return from the injured list. The veteran right-hander, who strained his left hamstring running the bases June 9, struck out six and walked one.
Anderson hit a solo homer off John Brebbia in the eighth to push Miami’s lead to 5-3. It was his ninth of the season. Anderson also broke a 1-all tie with an RBI double off the glove of third baseman Matt Carpenter in the sixth.
Miguel Rojas gave the Marlins a 4-1 advantage when he knocked in a run with an infield single in the seventh.
St. Louis trimmed the deficit to 4-3 in the bottom half when Paul Goldschmidt hit an RBI double and scored on Marcell Ozuna’s single.
“This was a crazy one,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said.
Marlins: 1B Garrett Cooper was pulled in the fifth with left triceps tightness. He is day-to-day. Cooper, who missed Wednesday’s game with the same problem, extended his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games with a double in the fourth. … Miami catcher Jorge Alfaro exited in the ninth with concussion-like symptoms.
Cardinals: INF Yairo Munoz came off the paternity list and was placed on the restricted list due to travel delays in his return to St. Louis. … INF Jedd Gyorko remains on the injured list with calf and back ailments. “It’s going to be a little while. The calf strain is more significant than the back injury had been,” general manager Michael Girsch said. Gyorko went on the injured list June 8.
Marlins: RHP Sandy Alcantara (3-6, 3.73 ERA) will face Phillies RHP Aaron Nola (6-1, 4.89) in the opener of a three-game series at Philadelphia on Friday. Alcantara game up a season-high six runs on a career-high 11 hits over five innings in a 9-1 loss to Philadelphia on April 12 in Miami.
Cardinals: RHP Michael Wacha (4-3, 6.00) opposes Los Angeles Angels RHP Griffin Canning (2-3, 3.93) in the opener of a three-game interleague set Friday.
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