MIAMI -- This season has not gone exactly how Mitchell Boggs would have liked.
After struggling early, Boggs was demoted to Triple-A. But the right-hander earned his way back to the Majors to become a key member of the Cardinals' bullpen.
On Friday night, Boggs pitched a scoreless seventh inning to pick up his first win since Sept. 6, 2010.
"It was good to be a part of getting a win," Boggs said. "Last night, whether I got it or somebody else did it really didn't matter. The important thing is going out and trying to do your job and helping the team win on any given night."
Boggs' demotion was not easy to accept, but the 27-year-old did not sulk when he was sent to Triple-A Memphis. Instead, Boggs used the time to improve and get back in the big leagues as quickly as possible.
"It was tough, but that's part of the game," Boggs said. "Everybody in here realizes that this is a business. It was tough for me, but at the same time, I learned a lot about myself. I went down and worked hard and tried to continue to keep pitching. I got back up here and continued to throw the ball well here. There's a long way to go in this season, and I'm going to try to continue doing the things I have been doing."
Like most of the Cardinals' bullpen, Boggs is versatile. He has pitched late in games, been a long man and even has experience as a starter. While some pitchers prefer to be in a defined role, Boggs is open to pitching in any situation.
"I feel comfortable just going out there and pitching," Boggs said. "Whatever they need, I'm ready and willing to do that. I just want to help this club win. If that means coming in and getting a big out in a situation or going an inning or two and keeping us in the game, whatever the situation is, I'm ready to do it."
Big save the latest of firsts for rookie Lynn
MIAMI -- For most rookies, their first season in the big leagues is filled with new experiences.
Cardinals reliever Lance Lynn is no different, as he has experienced a lot of firsts in 2011.
"I think I've gotten everything so far this year," Lynn said. "First win, first start, first save and debut all in one year. It's been a crazy year so far, but it's been a good time."
The first save is the most recent addition to his list after he shut the door on Friday's 3-2 win over the Marlins. But Lynn did not breeze through his first save opportunity like he would have wanted.
Lynn walked Greg Dobbs on four pitches to load the bases for Mike Stanton with two outs. Florida's young slugger already had three hits on the night, but Lynn was able to blow a 96-mph fastball past him to secure the save.
"It was a little different, but I enjoyed it," Lynn said. "I had to regroup there. I was a little out of control, but I was able to regroup and get it done."
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa was impressed with how his young reliever handled himself in a pressure-filled situation.
"You're facing the next young superstar in our league with the bases loaded and nowhere to go with him, and you get a punchout," La Russa said. "That's a dramatic moment."
Most pitchers have a tough time converting their first save situation. Even if it goes smoothly, the adrenaline rush and pressure involved is something they have to learn to deal with. But Lynn embraces the tension involved with pitching in key moments.
"I'm a person that likes the big situations," Lynn said. "I like to have the ball in my hand when the game is on the line. To be in that situation wasn't something that I didn't want. That's the situation you want as a pitcher and as a competitor, and I enjoyed it."
Lynn, who is 1-1 with a 3.27 ERA, has not allowed a run since July 24. The right-hander has earned his role as a late-inning reliever as well as the respect and trust of his teammates.
"I feel like he's aggressive but also in control of himself, and you have to have both of those attributes to be a good closer," outfielder Lance Berkman said.
With Fernando Salas, Octavio Dotel and Kyle McClellan all unavailable on Friday, Lynn was the only option left to shut the door in the ninth. After pitching himself out of a jam to convert his first save opportunity, Lynn might earn himself some more.
"That showed that Tony has a lot of faith in me by putting me in that situation," Lynn said. "It's a good feeling that they have faith in you, and I'm going to keep doing as well as I can."
Cards' star trio consistent when healthy
MIAMI -- The heart of the Cardinals' order has been a key part of the team's success this season.
Friday was no exception, as the trio of Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman each contributed key hits to help the Cardinals secure a 3-2 win over the Marlins.
"They've always been professional high-average, high producers," manager Tony La Russa said. "That means they don't throw at-bats away, rise to the occasion and play to the situation. If one is sluggish for a few days, the other two pick it up. That's the beauty of having three guys."
The Cardinals expected many games to be just like Friday's when they added Berkman this offseason, but none of the three has played 100 games yet.
Even with Pujols, Holliday and Berkman all missing time this season due to injury, the Cardinals have been able to position themselves in the playoff race.
La Russa believes his three stars will play a huge role in getting the Cards to the postseason as long as they can stay healthy.
"The key is keeping them healthy," La Russa said. "If they can stay healthy, then they can get enough playing time where their timing is there. I think they're all stringing together good at-bats, and that's what they do."
Lance Berkman, who delivered a pair of key hits in Friday's 3-2 win over the Marlins, leads the Cardinals in go-ahead RBIs (21) and game-winning RBIs (nine). ... Jon Jay, who is 1-for-17 on the current road trip, got the night off Saturday. Cardinals manager Tony La Russa believes Jay may be a bit tired, so he rested him and started veteran Corey Patterson in center field. ... The Cardinals have won 14 of their last 19 games at Sun Life Stadium entering Saturday.
David Villavicencio is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.