The Marlins' disappointing first half of the season ended as it began, with a loss to the Cardinals.

Sunday's 5-4 defeat at Busch Stadium underscored the reasons the underachieving Marlins are three games under .500 and on the fringe of the playoff race going into the All-Star break.

Heath Bell blew his sixth save in 25 chances, squandering a two-run lead in the ninth inning.

The Marlins were one strike from a feel-good comeback victory when Rafael Furcal slapped a two-run single to left field. David Freese beat Logan Morrison's throw to score the winning run on a close play at the plate.