Yadier Molina hit a bases-loaded double during a three-run first inning, Daniel Ponce de Leon and the St. Louis bullpen protected the lead, and the Cardinals beat the Miami Marlins 4-1 Monday night.
Molina drove in two runs with his 382nd double, moving past Hall of Famer Johnny Bench for eighth place on the career list among catchers.
Ponce de Leon (1-0) allowed one run and three hits in five innings. The right-hander struck out three, walked one and hit Starling Marte twice. He relied on fastballs to shut down Marlins hitters as only 10 of his 93 pitches were off-speed.
St. Louis got a perfect sixth from Jordan Hicks and two scoreless innings from Giovanni Gallegos. Alex Reyes closed it with a scoreless ninth for his first save.
Miami starter Trevor Rogers (0-1) walked four batters in the first, propelling St. Louis to its early advantage. Rogers allowed two hits, struck out six and didn't walk another batter after the first. He went four innings.
Tommy Edman led off the St. Louis fifth with a home run against John Curtiss.
The Marlins scored on Marte's sacrifice fly in the fifth.