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NL ROUNDUP

Marlins Feel at Home

September 14, 2004|From Associated Press

The Florida Marlins did their best to create a home atmosphere: their mascot danced on the field, their public address announcer did the lineups and they wore white pants.

Chased out of Florida by Hurricane Ivan, the Marlins scored six runs in the eighth inning to beat the Montreal Expos, 6-3, on Monday afternoon in front of 4,003 in U.S. Cellular Field, home of the American League's Chicago White Sox.

"Yeah, you got to feel like we're at home, even when we're in a different city. We still want to get back home to our houses and hopefully Ivan won't cause any more havoc," catcher Paul Lo Duca said.

With the upper deck closed, most of the fans who spent $15 for a ticket, $5 going to hurricane relief, sat close to the field.

Florida, two games behind National League wild-card leading San Francisco, will play the Expos at U.S. Cellular Field today, then in a doubleheader at Miami on Wednesday and a single game Thursday.

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Chicago 7, Pittsburgh 2 -- Sammy Sosa homered for the first time in more than two weeks and Derrek Lee drove in three runs at Chicago, which moved to within half a game of San Francisco in the wild-card race.

Moises Alou and Neifi Perez also homered for the Cubs, who tagged rookie Frank Brooks for five runs in only one inning.

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New York 9-1, Atlanta 7-7 -- J.D. Drew had four hits and three runs batted in, and Paul Byrd (7-5) pitched eight strong innings in the second game to help the Braves earn a doubleheader split at New York.

In the first game, Mike Piazza and Richard Hidalgo homered, pinch-hitter Craig Brazell had a go-ahead double and the Mets rallied to win.

A newspaper reported that the Mets have decided to fire Manager Art Howe after the season. Howe said if that's true, he wants to be let go immediately.

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Cincinnati 4, Philadelphia 3 -- Jason LaRue drove in the go-ahead run on a fielder's choice grounder in the bottom of the eighth inning and the Reds ended the Phillies' six-game winning streak.

Wily Mo Pena led off the eighth against reliever Felix Rodriguez (5-8) with a double into the right-center field gap and moved to third on a sacrifice.

LaRue followed with a grounder to second baseman Placido Polanco, who made a diving backhanded stop but couldn't get up and throw in time to get Pena at the plate.

Joe Valentine (2-3) got the final out in the eighth and Danny Graves pitched the ninth for his 39th save.

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Colorado 9, Arizona 2 -- Vinny Castilla reached 300 career homers and 1,000 runs batted in with two of the Rockies' five home runs at Phoenix. Castilla's second home run of the game, and 32nd this season, drove in two runs against Scott Service.

It was Castilla's fourth multi-homer game and 32nd of his career. He has 119 RBIs, two behind NL leader Scott Rolen.

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