Marlins don’t mind doubters; Braves sweep Mets in twinbill
By: By The Associated Press
The first-place Florida Marlins realize they have their doubters, and quite frankly, they don’t care.
“We’ll just keep plugging away,” closer Kevin Gregg said. “Everybody is looking at you like, ‘These guys aren’t any good.’ But we’re at the top of the division, where everybody wants to be.”
And they’re proving that they might not be the fluke many think they are.
Dan Uggla hit his 14th home run and Gregg escaped a bases-loaded jam in the eighth inning to help the Marlins take the opening game in a series between division leaders, beating Arizona 3-2 on Tuesday night.
“They have a good club, there’s no doubt about it,” Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. “They deserve to be where they are right now.”
The game marked the Marlins’ first against an opponent that has a winning record since May 1.
They did lots of little things right against Arizona, which began the week with the best record in the majors.
Jeremy Hermida and Luis Gonzalez had two-out RBI, the worst defense in the majors was errorless and Gregg protected a one-run lead.
After Renyel Pinto walked the bases loaded with one out in the eighth, Gregg entered and struck out Justin Upton and Eric Byrnes, the latter on a 3-2 fastball.
Gregg followed with a hitless ninth for his eighth save in nine chances.
“He should get at least two saves there, maybe three,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
In other NL games, it was: Philadelphia 1, Washington 0; Milwaukee 7, Pittsburgh 2; San Francisco 6, Colorado 5; Houston 4, Chicago 2; San Diego 3, St. Louis 2; and Los Angeles 4, Cincinnati 1. Atlanta also swept a doubleheader from New York 6-1 and 6-2.
At Miami, the NL West-leading Diamondbacks stranded five runners in scoring position, and Byrnes was tagged out trying to score from third on a grounder in the fifth.
“We just couldn’t take advantage of some opportunities,” Melvin said. “We just left some guys out there. That was the difference.”
Micah Owings (5-2) had a career-high 10 strikeouts, but allowed three runs in seven innings. Mark Hendrickson (6-2) needed 97 pitches to get through five innings but left with a 2-1 lead.
Braves 6-6 Mets 1-2
Tom Glavine retired his last 17 batters during his first post-New York appearance against the Mets and led the Braves to another home win in the opener of a day-night doubleheader.
Then it was Jorge Campillo’s turn in the nightcap, and he pitched six scoreless innings for his first major league win.
Glavine (2-1) allowed only three hits and a walk — all in the first — in six innings. Brian McCann homered and drove in three runs for the Braves, who handed John Maine (5-3) his first loss in nearly a month.
Campillo (1-0) was making his second big league start, and allowed three hits, struck out seven and didn’t walk anyone. Claudio Vargas (0-2) lasted five innings, giving up five hits and four runs.
The long day ended with a scary play.
While turning a double play at second base, Braves shortstop Yunel Escobar struck Ryan Church in the head with his right knee.
Church was face down on the field for several minutes before staggering off with a mild concussion, while Escobar had to be helped to the Braves dugout.
Astros 4, Cubs 2
At Houston, Hunter Pence had three hits, including his second career grand slam, to lead the Astros.
Miguel Tejada doubled in the fourth inning for his 1,800th hit. He’s the 44th shortstop in major league history to reach the milestone.
Chris Sampson (3-3) allowed seven hits and two runs in 62/3 innings, and Jose Valverde pitched a scoreless ninth for his 13th save.
Padres 3, Cardinals 2
At San Diego, Kevin Kouzmanoff hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning that carried the Padres to a win.
Bryan Corey (1-0) earned his first win with San Diego, and Trevor Hoffman pitched a perfect ninth for his ninth save, extending his big league career record to 533.
Phillies 1, Nationals 0
At Washington, Greg Dobbs’ RBI pinch-hit single in the ninth inning gave Philadelphia the victory.
Dobbs picked up the game-winning RBI as a pinch hitter for reliever Tom Gordon (4-2).
Dobbs’ hit also ended the 12-inning scoreless streak of Washington reliever Jon Rauch (2-1).
Brewers 7, Pirates 2
At Pittsburgh, Manny Parra pitched 52/3 scoreless innings, and Mike Cameron and Corey Hart homered to help the Milwaukee Brewers snap a five-game losing streak.
Parra (2-2) won for the first time since beating San Francisco on April 5, his first start of the season.
Giants 6, Rockies 5
At Denver, Tim Lincecum pitched six effective innings, Rich Aurilia had three hits, including a solo homer, and San Francisco snapped a season-high six-game skid.
Lincecum (6-1) gave up three runs and scattered five hits while striking out six.
Dodgers 4, Reds 1
Chad Billingsley pitched seven scoreless innings and singled home a run, sending the Reds to their eighth straight loss at Chavez Ravine.
Billingsley (4-5) won for the fourth time in five starts.