Marlins 2, Dodgers 0

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MIAMI (AP)—The Florida Marlins jumped out to an early lead, as they’ve done a lot lately. And this time they held on.

Brad Penny pitched 7 2-3 shutout innings to become the Marlins’ career leader in victories, and they broke a four-game losing streak by beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-0 on Wednesday night.

The Marlins, who blew leads of at least two runs in each defeat during their skid, scored twice in the first inning against Jeff Weaver (1-4).

Penny, Matt Perisho and Armando Benitez protected the lead—with help from Milton Bradley, who grounded into three double plays.

“Our backs were against the wall, because we had lost a few in a row,” Penny said. “It’s nice to go out and start a winning streak.”

Perisho struck out pinch hitter Olmedo Saenz with two on to end the eighth. Benitez, who blew a save for the first time this season in Tuesday’s loss to Los Angeles, earned his 11th when Bradley bounced into a 4-6-3 double play to end the game.

Penny (3-1) earned his 43rd victory to break the team record of 42 he shared with Ryan Dempster, who pitched for Florida from 1998 to 2002.

“It’s nice,” Penny said. “But this team hasn’t been around long enough for me to be too excited about it.”

There may be a lot more wins to come for the 25-year-old Penny, who allowed four hits and one walk while lowering his ERA to 2.18.

“He has probably been the most consistent pitcher we’ve had this year,” manager Jack McKeon said. “He has really matured. I think he’s on a mission.”

The Marlins earned their fifth shutout. The Dodgers totaled just five hits and were shut out for the first time.

“It really had nothing to do with us not swinging the bat,” Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. “It had everything to do with Brad Penny and the way he pitched.”

Penny had some defensive help from the Marlins, who committed four errors Tuesday. Third baseman Lowell and first baseman Hee Seop Choi robbed the Dodgers of hits with back-to-back defensive gems in the fourth.

The game between division leaders drew 13,308 fans, a slight increase on the Marlins’ smallest crowd of the season Tuesday.

Juan Pierre led off the Florida first with a single, stole second and scored on a triple off the scoreboard by Abraham Nunez. Mike Lowell then singled in the game’s only other run.

Nunez made just his fifth start of the year to give slumping Miguel Cabrera a night off.

The game was the first for Weaver in Miami since he gave up a game-ending homer to Alex Gonzalez while pitching for the New York Yankees in Game 4 of last year’s World Series. The right-hander allowed six hits and two runs in seven innings, and Gonzalez went 0-for-3 against him.

“I want to keep this going, and hopefully string more games like this together,” said Weaver, who lowered his ERA to 5.40. “Eventually things will turn and we’ll be on the winning side of these kind of games.”

Adrian Beltre led off the Dodgers’ sixth with a double, but was stranded there when Penny retired the next three batters. Beltre again doubled in the eighth and took third on a single by Alex Cora, sending Penny to the showers, but Perisho escaped the jam.

“This gets us back on track,” Perisho said. “We’ve squandered a lot of leads. With our five starters, I don’t think there are going to be too manylosing streaks. I personally can’t believe we lost four in a row.”


Marlins 2B Luis Castillo was held out of the lineup for the second game in a row with a fractured left pinkie. He may return Thursday. … The Marlins have scored 31 runs in the first inning and 98 in all other innings. … Jeff Conine was 0-for-10 lifetime against Weaver before he singled in the first inning. … The Dodgers’ bullpen is 5-0 this season. … First base umpire Paul Emmel ruled Lowell out on a foul fly down the right-field line in the eighth, but TV replays showed the ball deflected off the glove of Juan Encarnacion and hit the ground.

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