Marlins 13, Athletics 2
Lowell had gone without a home run in his last six games, with only two extra-base hits in that stretch. The rest paid off Tuesday night, when he hit a pair of three-run homers in Florida’s 13-2 win over the Oakland Athletics.
“I think it was a good mental break, more than a physical break,” Lowell said. “I missed one game and got two days’ rest. You get a nice little fresh start.”
The Marlins sent Oakland’s Mark Mulder (8-3) to his worst start in nearly two years, roughing up the left-hander for eight earned runs in 3 2-3 innings— matching the number of runs he yielded in his previous 60 innings.
Mulder’s ERA, which ranked second in the AL at 2.36 before the game, rose to 3.08. It was the first time he had been charged with eight earned runs since Aug. 23, 2001, against Cleveland, a span of 49 starts.
“Every now and then, the game reminds you that you just have to keep going,” Mulder said. “It didn’t go my way and it didn’t go the team’s way tonight.”
Oakland outfielder Eric Byrnes went 0-for-4, ending his 22-game hitting streak. The Athletics lost by more than six runs and allowed more than 11 for the first time this season.
“That’s a pretty good shellacking. … It’s the first time we took a beating like that,” Athletics manager Ken Macha said. “Up until this one, we had been in every game we had played.”
The six RBIs set a career high for Lowell, who homered off Mulder as part of a six-run third inning, then connected again off John Halama in the fifth.
“He wasn’t swinging the bat very good last week and all of a sudden, he came to life again,” McKeon said. “All players need a day here or there.”
Penny (4-3) gave up one run and six hits, striking out seven. He capped Florida’s six-run third against Mulder with a bases-loaded triple.
Penny has allowed only one earned run in his last 18 innings, lowering his ERA from 4.62 to 3.50.
“That was a real fun game tonight,” he said. “The way our team came out, we could have beaten anybody.”
The Marlins took a 9-1 lead in the fifth, when Juan Pierre was able to score from second on a ball that landed about 65 feet from home plate. Ivan Rodriguez hit a high popup with two outs to the back of the pitcher’s mound, but it fell between four Oakland fielders for an error on first baseman Erubiel Durazo.
Lowell, the next batter, hit his second homer of the night and 18th of the season to left for a 12-1 lead.
Oakland was 16-2 against NL teams last season and its .629 winning percentage since interleague play began in 1997 is the best in baseball.Florida’s .602 interleague winning percentage ranks second.
The six third-inning runs matched a season high for the Marlins, who also scored six times in the second inning against Atlanta on April 5. … Pierre, who leads the Marlins with 74 hits, was the only Florida starter without one. He went 0-for-6. … It was the first meeting between the Marlins and Athletics. … Halama made his first relief appearance of the season for Oakland, giving up four unearned runs in 2 1-3 innings. … A fan jumped over the right-field fence and sprinted toward the infield during the middle of the sixth inning. He was eventually caught by two security guards and did not approach any players or coaches. Several other fans were ejected minutes laterwhen a fight broke out in the right-field stands.