MIAMI (MLB.com) - The Cardinals played the role of obliging house guest in the hours leading up to the regular-season debut of Marlins Park. They moved up their batting practice to accommodate the elaborate pregame ceremonies, praised the park during afternoon interviews and willingly stood along the first-base line during a longer-than-normal Opening Day procession of tributes and introductions.
And then, after Miami starter Josh Johnson christened Marlins Park with a 7:15 p.m. ET first-pitch strike to Rafael Furcal, Kyle Lohse took the stage.
Designated the team's Opening Day starter because nerve irritation has Chris Carpenter sidelined, Lohse carried a no-hitter into the seventh. Jose Reyes' leadoff single thwarted any chance that Lohse would join Bob Feller as the only pitchers to throw an Opening Day no-hitter, but Lohse was nonetheless stellar over 7 1/3 innings as the Cardinals beat the Marlins, 4-1, on Wednesday night.
He allowed only two other baserunners -- Emilio Bonifacio was hit by a pitch in the fourth and Logan Morrison tagged Lohse for a single in the eighth. The new ballpark worked in his favor, too, as a pair of swings from Giancarlo Stanton produced long fly-ball outs that would have cleared center-field walls elsewhere.
Mike Matheny, who was making his managerial debut on Wednesday, made the decision to pull Lohse with one on and a pitch count of 90 in the eighth. That put the shutout in the hands of Fernando Salas, who wasn't able to hold it. John Buck drove in a run with a two-out double, five pitches after the Cardinals thought they had completed an inning-ending double play.