Reds 9, Marlins 6

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MIAMI (AP)—Sean Casey is feeling good at the plate, and it looks like some of his teammates are ready to follow his lead.

Casey homered for the first time in 19 games, doubled and drove in three runs, leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 9-6 win over the Florida Marlins on Sunday.

“That was a big win for us. We needed to get out here with a split on the (six-game) road trip,” Casey said.

Casey and the Reds had struggled at the plate before getting 13 hits off five pitchers. Casey went 3-for-3 as Cincinnati won for only the third time in 10 games.

Casey got the key hit in a seven-run fourth inning, delivering a two-run double with the bases loaded. He was mired in a 2-for-22 slump entering the game.

“I’ve felt the best I have in the last two or three weeks at the plate,” Casey said. “I’ve been hitting some bullets but they were going right at people.”

Meanwhile, the 7-8-9 spots in the order went 7-for-14 with four runs scored and three RBIs, led by Juan Castro’s three extra-base hits and rookie Rainer Olmedo’s first three hits of his career.

“We had some real good at-bats,” Reds manager Bob Boone said. “The bottom of the order really did damage. Hopefully this will wake us up.”

Reds starter John Riedling was staked to a 9-0 lead, but the Marlins rallied. He was pulled after 4 2-3 innings, having allowing six runs and nine hits.

Riedling, of nearby Pompano Beach, wanted desperately to get the win in front of some 30 friends and relatives in attendance but said he broke down in the heat and humidity of South Florida.

“The worst thing a manager has to do is to go get them after 4 2-3 innings,” Boone said.

Scott Sullivan (6-0) got the win in relief. Scott Williamson earned his 13th save in 14 chances.

Carl Pavano (4-6) gave up nine runs in 3 1-3 innings. He allowed nine hits, struck out four and walked three, and his ERA jumped almost a full run from 3.63 to 4.54.

“The balls were up in the zone today, and you’re not going to get many outs that way,” Pavano said. “Falling behind in counts and getting behind these hitters, they’re going to kill you.”

Casey started the scoring when he hit a solo home run in the first inning, a liner to right for his sixth of the season.

“When I hit the home run, nobody was going to catch that one except a fan,” Casey said.

The Reds made it 2-0 with in the second when Castro doubled in Olmedo, who had doubled for his first major league hit.

Riedling helped himself in the big fourth. He hit an RBI single, Russell Branyan had a two-run double and Austin Kearns singled home two runs.

Juan Encarnacion and Alex Gonzalez hit RBI singles in the Florida fourth. Gonzalez had three hits.

The Marlins scored four times in the fifth to get to within 9-6 and chase Riedling. Encarnacion hit an RBI double, and Gonzalez hit a single that right fielder Wily Mo Pena misplayed, allowing two runs to score.

“We just dug ourselves too big a hole early in the game and we just couldn’t rebound,” Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. “We battled back and wedidn’t quit. After being down 9-0 we didn’t quit.”

Notes

Marlins 3B Mike Lowell, who leads the team with 16 home runs and 43 RBIs, did not start for the first time this season despite his .411 average in day games. The last time Lowell was out of the starting lineup was the last game of last season, a string of 57 games. Utility infielder Andy Fox started for Lowell but was hitless. … Reds INF Aaron Boone did not start but maintained his streak of 218 consecutive games played with a pinch-hit appearance in the seventh. … Adam Dunn, mired in a 7-for-49 slump entering the game, led off for the first time this season and went 0-for-4 with a walkand a hit by pitch for the Reds.

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