In the eighth, Ryan Ludwick, also struggling and returning to the lineup after sitting out two starts, singled home one run, with another scoring on an outfield error as the Cardinals tied the game. Then Colby Rasmus, extending his hitting streak to 10 games, put St. Louis ahead with a pinch single through a drawn-in infield.
But the best player on the field again probably was center fielder Rick Ankiel, who had his second consecutive three-hit game, took an extra-base hit away from Cody Ross with a leaping catch at the wall and then made a diving catch to rob Ronny Paulino. Ankiel had eight hits in the series and is playing his best ball of the season after a poor May, when he was hurt much of the time.
The Cardinals have beaten the Marlins in eight straight series, winning 18 of the 25 games played.
"It didn't look good. (Left-hander Andrew) Miller was walking right through us," manager Tony La Russa said. "Albert got us closer in a hurry."
CARDINALS 6, MARLINS 5: Ryan Franklin, pitching for only the second time since June 2, was called on to get a five-out save, which he did by stranding the potential tying run on second in the ninth. Rick Ankiel singled three times, each igniting a scoring inning.