Marlins 14, Expos 4

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP)—Brad Penny had it easy: Florida’s hitters gave him a nine-run lead after two innings and Montreal manager Frank Robinson removed most of his starters by the third.

Penny pitched six strong innings and the Marlins beat up on Tomo Ohka as Florida defeated the Expos 14-4 Saturday night.

“It helped a lot by them taking all those guys out,” Penny said. “We came out swinging tonight and got an early lead. …That’s a huge one.”

Robinson said that after falling behind 9-0 after two innings he decided to give his players the night off.

“It was one of those nights,” Robinson said. “It was not good at the beginning, and after Ohka conceded the nine runs the game was out of hand and I decided to take my players out.”

A crowd of 14,570 at Hiram Bithorn Stadium saw the Marlins score five unearned in the first as they stayed a game back of Philadelphia in the NL wild-card race.

The Expos fell to 11-7 in Puerto Rico, where they are playing 22 “home” games this season—after this three-game series, they play three games against the Chicago Cubs.

Penny (13-10) got into a heated argument with third base umpire Rob Drake after the sixth inning and got tossed out of the game, having to be restrained by manager Jack McKeon.

The pitcher said he argued that runner Henry Mateo did not touch third base on his way to scoring Montreal’s second run, and that Drake looked at him and made the safe sign “all cocky.”

“I was going to apologize to him, but the way he called his safe was not right,” Penny said.

McKeon said the early lead helped his pitcher’s confidence from the beginning.

“I thought he had great stuff. We were hoping we could start hitting like this, but that doesn’t guarantee it will happen every night,” McKeon said.

Ohka (8-12) faced 19 batters in the first two innings, giving up six hits and nine runs—four earned.

Juan Pierre led off the game with a single, Luis Castillo sacrificed and reached first on a throwing error by Ohka, and Ivan Rodriguez singled to load the bases.

Jeff Conine then hit a grounder to shortstop Orlando Cabrera, who threw wildly to home plate allowing Pierre and Castillo to score. One out later, Derrek Lee hit his second home run of the series, a three-run shot that put the Marlins ahead 5-0.

“I hit it well, but that’s a routine fly in our ballpark,” Lee said.

Florida added four runs in the second behind Miguel Cabrera’s three-run double. Cabrera later scored on a wild pitch by Ohka.

Conine reached base again in the sixth with a single, moved to third on a single by Juan Encarnacion and scored when reliever Hector Almonte threw a wild pitch.

Florida added two in the seventh with a towering solo homer by Ramon Castro and an RBI double by Gerald Williams, both off Scott Stewart.

Penny gave up two run-scoring singles in the sixth to Ron Calloway and Jose Macias. He allowed eight hits and two runs in six innings, striking out four.

Reliever Chad Fox gave up an RBI hit to Joe Vitiello and a sacrifice fly to Jamie Carroll in the seventh.

Encarnacion added a two-run homer in the ninth off Chad Cordero.

Notes

Lee’s 28th homer of the season came on his 28th birthday, only the fourth time in major league history a player celebrated a birthday by hitting his season homer that was the same as his age. … Robinson used two pitchers as pinch-hitters: Joey Eischen in the fourth and T.J. Tucker in the seventh.Both got hits.

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