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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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Marlins rally past Giants to even series

(REUTERS) — The Florida Marlins rallied from a three-run deficit to overwhelm the San Francisco Giants 9-5 in Game Two of their National League division series Wednesday.

All eight position players for wild-card Florida got at least one hit as they evened up the best-of-five series with the NL West champions at 1-1.

The Marlins host Game Three Friday at Pro Player Stadium in Miami.

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Florida knocked out San Francisco starter Sidney Ponson after five innings and jumped on the Giants’ relievers, ringing up 15 hits in coming back from an early 4-1 deficit.

“You have to be in our dugout to really appreciate these guys,” Marlins coach Jack McKeon said.

“They are never going to quit. They keep battling and encouraging the other guys. It’s a wonderful group. They get out there and push, push, push.”

The Marlins, who were shut out 2-0 by Giants pitcher Jason Schmidt in Game One, got on the board in the first inning, when first baseman Derrek Lee drove home centerfielder Juan Pierre on a fielder’s choice.

But the lead did not last long and the Giants tied the game in the bottom of the inning when San Francisco slugger Barry Bonds ripped a double off Marlins starter Brad Penny with two out to drive in second baseman Ray Durham.

In the fourth inning, Giants shortstop Rich Aurilia led off with a bunt single, and then Penny walked Bonds.

Third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo then crushed a double into the right-field gap, scoring Aurilia and Bonds.

Giants centerfielder Marquis Grissom then brought in Alfonzo on a fielder’s choice to give the Giants a 4-1 lead.

But the Marlins fought back in the fifth inning, scoring three times off Ponson on RBIs by Juan Pierre, Luis Castillo and Ivan Rodriguez to even the game at 4-4.

After relief pitcher Rick Helling walked Durham in the bottom of the fifth inning, first baseman J.T. Snow drove in Pedro Feliz to put the Giants ahead 5-4.

Joe Nathan started the sixth inning on the mound for San Francisco and after striking out Miguel Cabrera, gave up a home run to the rightfielder Juan Encarnacion to tie the game at 5-5.

He then coughed up three-straight singles to Jeff Conine, Alex Gonzalez and pinch hitter Lenny Harris to load the bases.

Jason Christiansen relieved Nathan and promptly gave up a double to Pierre, scoring two runs and giving the Marlins a 7-5 lead.

Florida tagged on another run in each of the next two innings before Marlins reliever Ugueth Urbina retired the Giants in order in the ninth to complete the victory.

Giants manager Felipe Alou expects his veteran squad to rebound after the defeat once they arrive in Miami, a city that has not always supported baseball despite a World Series win in 1997.

The club was threatened with contraction by Major League Baseball two years ago after attendance had plummeted.

“We know it’s going to be a tough series,” Alou said.

“But experience should help us going to place where they tell me there are going to be 50,000 people who were really afraid they were going to lose their team.

“They are going to be going all out for their club, so it helps to have a team that’s been around.”

McKeon was delighted with the situation after two games.

“This has been a tough place for everybody and we would have liked to have won two in a row, but we were hoping to come out of here with a split,” he said.

“We go back to our place where we play extremely well, hit better and for some reason pitch better. It’s a big positive for us to be 1-1.”

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