ST. LOUIS — After losing consecutive starts for the first time in his career, Lance Lynn resisted the temptation to alter his approach.
He has 11 wins prior to the All-Star break both of his years in the rotation because he stayed with the plan.
“That last one was all singles and bloops,” manager Mike Matheny said after a 3-2 victory over the Miami Marlins wrapped up a three-game sweep Sunday. “The adjustment really is not to make too many adjustments.
“He was a bulldog,” Matheny added.
Lynn outpitched Marlins All-Star Jose Fernandez and Matt Holliday homered for St. Louis, which rebounded from a 3-8 stretch that bumped them from the majors’ best record.
The Cardinals regained a share of the NL Central lead with the Pirates, who lost to the Cubs.
“We’ve had some heartbreaks as of late,” Lynn said. “To be able to get a sweep any time of the year is great. It would be nice to get hot right before the All-Star break and rattle off a bunch of wins.”
Lynn (11-3) worked seven strong innings in 87-degree heat and matched All-Star Adam Wainwright for the team lead in wins. He struck out seven, fanning Giancarlo Stanton all three times, shaking off two outings in which he gave up nine runs in 13 2-3 innings.
“I tried to not even think about the last one,” Lynn said. “You’re going to have times where it seems like every time you throw a pitch and they hit it’s a hit, no matter where it goes.
“That’s kind of what the feeling was the last time,” he said, “but it can’t always be like that.”
The 20-year-old Fernandez (5-5) worked six innings a day after getting the nod as the Marlins’ lone All-Star and gave up three runs on four hits and a season-high four walks. He hadn’t allowed more than two earned runs in his previous six outings.