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Marlins Finally Score and Win

They score their first run in 25 innings in the eighth and add two more in the ninth to beat Expos, 3-2.

August 30, 2003|From Associated Press

MIAMI — The Florida Marlins couldn't have picked a better time to break out of their slump.

The Marlins scored their first run in 25 innings in the eighth and added two more in the ninth as they rallied for a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Expos on Friday night.

Pinch-hitter Brian Banks' run-scoring single with one out in the bottom of the ninth gave the Marlins their second victory in 10 games and 16th walkoff victory.

The Marlins had runners on first and second when Banks hit a 2-2 pitch off closer Rocky Biddle over the head of right fielder Vladimir Guerrero, scoring Derrek Lee.

"It was just a situation where you hope it will carry far enough into the gap," Banks said. "Off the bat I thought it would but then you have to think about who's out there. I know Vladi can go out and get it. When I saw it carry over his head I started celebrating immediately."

Trailing 2-1, the Marlins had runners on second and third with one out. They scored the tying run when Expo third baseman Jamey Carroll, who had just entered the game for defensive purposes, bobbled a hard-hit grounder by Alex Gonzalez. Carroll threw home but Juan Encarnacion slid under the tag. Carroll was not charged with an error.

Braden Looper (5-3) got the victory for Florida, which remained tied with Philadelphia for the wild-card lead. Montreal fell a game back in the race.

Biddle (4-8) blew a save for the seventh time for Montreal, which lost for the first time in six games.

"I wasn't aggressive enough in the strike zone," Biddle said. "I was trying to pick too much, looking for the perfect pitch instead of trusting my stuff."

Florida scored a run in the eighth inning when Juan Pierre scored from third on a ground out by Ivan Rodriguez.

"We knew it would break sooner or later," Marlin Manager Jack McKeon said of the scoreless streak. "It couldn't happen in a better way. This was a big win to get the monkey off our backs. We needed a lift like this, no question about it."

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