Marlins 5, Phillies 4

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PHILADELPHIA(AP)—The Florida Marlins are using a team effort to get back into the race.

Brad Penny pitched seven strong innings and Ivan Rodriguez homered as the Florida Marlins held off the Philadelphia Phillies 5-4 Saturday night.

“We all chipped in tonight,” Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. “The spirit is here and that comes from winning. I said when I got here that winning is fun and fun is winning. That’s what it amounts to.”

Rookie Miguel Cabrera had a single, double, and homer as the Marlins beat Philadelphia for the second straight game and moved within four games of the Phillies in the race for the NL wild card spot.

Penny (7-6) allowed two runs—one earned—and five hits. He struck out six and walked three and left the game with a 5-2 lead.

“We got good pitching tonight,” McKeon said.

Michael Tejera relieved Penny at the start of the eighth inning. He walked Jim Thome with one out and gave up a single to Bobby Abreu.

Nate Bump replaced Tejera and got Mike Lieberthal to hit a grounder to first. Derrick Lee threw to second for a force but shortstop Alex Gonzalez threw wildly to first allowing Thome to score and Lieberthal to move to second on the error.

Pat Burrell then singled scoring Lieberthal but was thrown out by Rodriguez while trying to reach second on the throw home.

“Pat’s got to realize that we’re behind,” Phillies manager Larry Bowa said. “It turned out to be a bad play. We’re not scoring right now.”

Braden Looper pitched the ninth for his 15th save in 18 chances.

Penny had dropped three of his last five starts including an 11-7 loss to Boston last Sunday when he was rocked for nine runs and nine hits, including four homers, in five innings.

“I’ve been throwing the ball good and thought I was in a groove tonight,” Penny said. “I throw my fastball the same all the time even though sometimes I’m accused of overthrowing. I really felt good out there.”

Vicente Padilla (7-8), who had won three straight and four of five starts, allowed five runs and six hits in five innings.

“I thought Padilla pitched pretty good,” Lieberthal said. “I really give credit to their hitters today. They hit some decent pitches.”

Rodriguez hit his 11th home run, a solo shot into the left-field seats off Padilla with two outs in the first inning. Rodriguez, who has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games, is 21-for-46 with 11 extra base hits and 17 RBIs over that span.

“I’ve been hitting the ball hard all year and finally it’s been finding some holes,” Rodriguez said. “It’s a funny game. You’ve just got to keep swinging.”

Florida made it 2-0 in the third when Cabrera led off with a double down the right-field line, moved to third on a sacrifice and scored on a one-out single by Luis Castillo.

The Phillies got one run back in the fourth when Abreu walked and Lieberthal singled. Burrell’s fielder choice grounder erased Lieberthal at second but Abreu scored when Castillo threw wildly in an attempt for a double play.

The Marlins made it 5-1 in the fifth. Cabrera led off with his fourth home run. Juan Pierre walked with one out. Castillo drove him in with a double, went to third on a single by Rodriguez, and scored on Mike Lowell’s groundout.

Lieberthal scored on Marlon Byrd’s RBI single in the seventh.

Notes

The Marlins played the second of a nine game road trip, all against winning teams. … Lieberthal, who was 1-for-14 against Penny coming in, had three hits. … Bell has reached base in 12 straight games. … Aided by a fireworks promotion, the Phillies drew 52,110, their fourth largest crowd ofthe year.

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