MIAMI — The sellout crowd in the Miami Marlins’ new ballpark cheered the introduction of their starters, who were accompanied by women dressed as Latin showgirls. There was another roar for Muhammad Ali, who delivered the first pitch.
Then Kyle Lohse and the World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals went to work, and the place grew quiet.
Lohse held Miami hitless until the seventh inning and pitched into the eighth to help the Cardinals win the first game in Marlins Park, 4-1 Wednesday night.
The Marlins’ new animated home-run sculpture never budged. It was the fourth inning before they even managed a baserunner, and by the time they scored in the eighth, they trailed 4-0.
“It’s a good ballpark for a pitcher, obviously,” Lohse said. “It’s pretty hard to get it out.”
The crowd of 36,601 included newly retired Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, who quietly rooted for his former team from the press box.
He watched Lohse retire the first 10 batters before hitting Emilio Bonifacio with a pitch. The runner was erased when Hanley Ramirez grounded into a double play.
Newcomer Jose Reyes singled for Miami’s first hit to start the seventh, and Omar Infante scored the Marlins’ run in the eighth on John Buck’s double. Lohse went 7⅓ innings, allowing only two hits and one run.
David Freese, the World Series MVP, and Rafael Furcal each had three of the Cardinals’ 13 hits.