Marlins 4, Indians 1

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CLEVELAND (AP)—When Carl Pavano briefly struggled in the seventh inning, the Indians helped him out.

Pavano got Travis Hafner to pop out on a 3-0 pitch with a runner on in his only trouble spot during the Florida Marlins’ 4-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Thursday night

Pavano (6-2) retired 13 of 14 until walking Victor Martinez to open the seventh. Then Hafner popped out to third base on a 3-0 pitch.

“That really helped,” Pavano said. “I was a little wild that inning. I know he has power and didn’t want to groove one, but he popped it up. I was a little surprised.”

The right-hander gave up one run and four hits in 8 2-3 innings for his fourth win in five decisions. He was replaced by Armando Benitez after Martinez doubled with two outs in the ninth.

Martinez limped into second and was removed for pinch-runner Tim Laker.

“He twisted his right ankle and hopefully it is not too serious,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said of Martinez, who is scheduled to have an MRI on Friday morning.

Benitez got the final out for his 14th consecutive save and 24th in 25 chances this season.

“Sure, I wanted to finish, but we’ve got the best closer in the league,” Pavano said.

Pavano struck out seven, walked one and was particularly effective in the middle innings. He retired the Indians in order on nine pitches in the fifth inning and used just six pitches to get three quick outs in the sixth.

“Victor couldn’t hit for us every time,” said Casey Blake, who struck out three times against Pavano. “We had four hits and he had two of them.

“I was guessing all night. I really didn’t have any idea.”

Alex Gonzalez hit a two-run homer for the Marlins, who have won 10 of the 12 games started this season by Pavano. Pavano has given up three runs or fewer 10 times.

Mike Redmond had three hits, including two doubles, to help Florida to its second win in the three-game interleague series at Jacobs Field. The Marlins are just 4-6 over their last 10 games.

Florida took a 1-0 lead in the second off Jason Davis (1-4).

Gonzalez hit a two-out single to right and came all the way around to score on a double to right-center by Redmond.

Martinez tied it in the bottom half with his 10th homer, hitting a 3-1 pitch into the right-field seats.

“I might have to throw it lefty to him,” Pavano said. “I couldn’t figure him out. The homer was on a 3-1 fastball. In the ninth, he hit the first pitch the other way. He’s really a good hitter.”

Gonzalez put the Marlins up 3-1 in the sixth with his fifth homer, a two-run shot to right.

“It was nice to see Alex pick up some of our guys,” Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. “We still didn’t make it easy. We left 12 guys on base. We’ve got to drive them in.”

With one out, Jeff Conine beat out a grounder into the hole at short and went to second when the throw by Omar Vizquel got past first baseman Ben Broussard, who was charged with an error.

Conine went to third as Lenny Harris grounded to second, then Gonzalez hit a 1-1 pitch the opposite way.

Davis allowed three runs and nine hits over seven innings. The right-hander walked two, struck out four and dropped to 0-2 over his last seven starts since May 4.

Juan Pierre drove in Florida’s final run in the eighth off Cliff Bartosh. His opposite-field drive bounced into the left-field stands for a ground-ruledouble, scoring Harris, who singled off Rick White with one out.


Marlins 2B Luis Castillo extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a bunt single in the third and went 3-for-3. … He has hit .376 (32-for-85) during the streak. … Martinez has hit .419 (18-for-43) with 10 RBI during an 11-game hitting streak and .333 (42-for-126) with six homers and 37 RBIs in 32 starts since being moved to the cleanup spot in the batting order May 3. … Pavano improved to 4-1 on the road. … Cleveland is 1-5 in the regular season against the Marlins, their second-worst mark in interleague play to their 0-3mark against Los Angeles.

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