This Day in St. Louis Sports History: April 4


April 4, 2012: Cardinals help christen Marlins Park with 4-1 Opening Day victory

On this day in 2012, the St. Louis Cardinals helped the newly-renamed Miami Marlins open their expansive new ballpark, Marlins Park, by playing them in a special one-game opening series. The Cards were prime candidates to kick off the MLB regular season schedule, considering that they had won the World Series in October of 2011, and with the Marlins having loaded up on established big-leaguers like Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle to complement Hanley Ramirez and Giancarlo Stanton, they were thought to be serious postseason contenders.

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With Chris Carpenter on the shelf due to injury and Adam Wainwright making his way back from Tommy John surgery, Kyle Lohse received the honor of being the Cards’ Opening Day starter, and he took full advantage, giving up just one run on two hits and no walks over 7.1 innings.
The Cardinals’ offense was able to collect an impressive 10 hits against the Marlins’ Opening Day starter, Josh Johnson, and they picked up another three against relievers Ryan Webb and Steve Cishek during the final three innings. David Freese and Rafael Furcal led the charge, both going 3-for-5, and everyone among the Cardinals’ starting eight position players besides Matt Holliday picked up at least one hit.

The game in Miami was the first game that the Cardinals had played without Albert Pujols on the big-league roster since 2000. Lance Berkman got the start at first base to start the post-Pujols era, which had begun during the previous winter when Pujols spurned the Cardinals to sign a 1o-year, $240 million-dollar contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

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