"He did a nice job, especially after his last outing that was a little rough," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "It was definitely good to see him bounce back."
Nolasco struggled mechanically in his last start, allowing seven runs on eight hits over three innings. But the Marlins' Opening Day starter made an adjustment between starts that made a big difference in his performance.
"I was just working on getting a better angle on my fastball and keeping my front side closed, since in my last start I was flying open," Nolasco said. "I just had to work on that in between, and I thought I did a good job of staying closed and keeping the fastball down."
Meanwhile, Brantly drove in three runs on three singles off Cardinals starter Lance Lynn. The 23-year-old Brantly drove home Placido Polanco on singles in the first and third innings and pushed home Juan Pierre with a base hit to left field in the fourth.
"We talk about scenarios where they pitch around [Giancarlo] Stanton, and we have a guy come up and get the hits," Redmond said. "Today Brantly did that, and it was perfect."
Lynn struggled against the Marlins, allowing five runs on nine hits over 3 2/3 innings. The right-hander's only scoreless inning was the second, and the Marlins plated three runs on five hits in the third.
"I thought he looked pretty good today," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "I thought he looked better than the results said. It was a heavier ball. It looked more like his natural slot. There's a lot of things that didn't work out well for him in the end today, but I thought it was a day of moving forward from his last start."
Shane Robinson had a solid day for the Cardinals, collecting three base hits and a stolen base. He went 3-for-4 on the day, bumping his spring average to .487.
Polanco had two hits for the Marlins, while Pierre, Casey Kotchman and Justin Ruggiano each drove in a run.
Cardinals reliever Mitchell Boggs, along with the Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton and Steve Cishek, played in his first Grapefruit League game following Team USA's elimination from the World Baseball Classic. Boggs threw a scoreless inning in relief.
Up next: Right-hander Jake Westbrook makes his fourth start of the spring Monday against the Mets, available on MLB.TV. He is 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA. New York counters with right-hander Matt Harvey (1-0, 2.77 ERA) for the 12:05 p.m. CT contest at Roger Dean Stadium.