The Florida Marlins' regulars scored in each of their first three innings to take a 5-1 lead, then held on for a 6-3 decision over the Cardinals in both teams' official Grapefruit League opener.
Right fielder Lance Berkman cracked an opposite-field home run off Marlins starter Anibal Sanchez and later added a single.
The Cardinals got within 5-3 in the fifth inning when left fielder Adron Chambers and infielder Daniel Descalso contributed RBI singles.
Lefthanded starter Raul Valdes endured two tough innings as the Marlins reached him for four runs on five hits. Bryan Augenstein followed and allowed a single run in the third inning.
Three of the first five hitters to face Valdes peppered three first-inning hits past third baseman Allen Craig. Marlins third baseman Matt Dominguez capped the scoring off Valdes with a towering two-run, second-inning home run to left field.
Fish fry Cardinals in exhibition opener
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Mar 1