Ramirez struggles, Mariners fall to Cardinals


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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Seattle right-hander Erasmo Ramirez says he must return to the basics.

"I need to concentrate and throw more strikes," he said. "It's that simple."

Ramirez pitched into the sixth inning in his previous six outings. But the St. Louis Cardinals got to him a lot earlier on Sunday and beat the Mariners 12-2.

Ramirez lasted just four innings, giving up five runs and eight hits. St. Louis chased him with a four-run, five-hit outburst in the fourth inning.

"He just fell out of his delivery," manager Eric Wedge said. "He really lost command of his fastball. It was flat and out over the plate."

Ramirez, in his 11th start of the season, allowed one run on three hits over the first three innings. The Cardinals then sent 10 hitters to the plate in the fourth.

"There's no excuse, I've got to control that," Ramirez said of the big inning. "I don't have to always be perfect."

Yadier Molina had a home run and three singles as Shelby Miller and the Cardinals remained tied for first place in the NL Central with the victory.

Molina ended an 0-for-15 slump with a second-inning homer.

Matt Adams also homered as St. Louis won for the seventh time in nine games and kept pace with Pittsburgh. Both teams are 87-62 with 13 games remaining.

Miller (14-9) gave up one earned run and three hits in five innings. He became the first St. Louis rookie to reach 14 wins in a season since Dick Hughes won 16 in 1967.

St. Louis got 19 hits after totaling just three runs on seven hits over the first two games of the series.

Matt Carpenter keyed the fourth-inning burst with a two-run, bases-loaded single. Daniel Descalso and Matt Holliday also had RBI hits in the inning.

Holliday and Carpenter finished with three hits and two RBIs two apiece.

Adams pushed the lead to 7-2 with his 14th homer to highlight a four-run fifth.

Miller did not allow a hit in the first three innings and managed to battle through the fourth and fifth despite not having what he called his best stuff.

"Today I didn't do the best job of attacking hitters," Miller said. "I was losing the strike zone, but I just kept battling through it."

Wedge was not surprised to see the Cardinals' offense break loose after struggling in back-to-back games.

"They really put it together today," Wedge said. "You look at their top five guys, they all have quite a bit to offer.

NOTES: The Cardinals completed a 7-2 homestand. They open a seven-game road trip on Monday at Colorado. Lance Lynn (13-10, 4.23) will face Jorge De La Rosa (16-6, 3.49) in the first of a four-game set. ... Seattle continues its 10-game road trip with four games in Detroit. Joe Saunders (11-14, 5.18) takes on Rick Porcello (12-8, 4.56) in the opener.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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