Marlins 7, Brewers 6
Newcomer Lo Duca hit a two-run single off Dan Kolb with none out in the ninth inning, and Florida rallied to beat error-plagued Milwaukee 7-6 Friday night.
Lo Duca, acquired in a trade Saturday with the Los Angeles Dodgers, improved to 9-for-18 with eight RBIs since joining the Marlins.
“It hasn’t taken him long to be a folk hero here,” manager Jack McKeon said.
Kolb’s throwing error fueled the comeback, and he blew a save for only the second time in 32 chances this season. He had converted 17 chances in a row.
“There were plays that had to be made, and I didn’t make them,” Kolb said.
The Marlins climbed to .500 with just their second win since acquiring five players in trades last weekend, including Lo Duca.
“Everything he has done here has been positive,” McKeon said. “Maybe this is the start of something good.”
The Brewers have lost four in a row and 14 of 18 to fall six games below .500 for the first time this season.
“We’re not a good ballclub right now,” said Ben Sheets, who allowed four runs—none earned—in six innings. “It has been downhill since the All-Star break.”
With Florida trailing 6-5, pinch-hitter Lenny Harris walked to start the ninth—only the fourth walk given up by Kolb (0-2) in his past 34 games.
Trying to sacrifice, Juan Pierre bunted to Kolb, whose wild throw to first put runners at second and third.
“It’s frustrating, because that’s the first time I’ve made a bad play like that,” Kolb said. “You go over stuff like that in spring training. You pick the ball up and throw it to first. I didn’t do that.”
After Kolb intentionally walked Luis Castillo, Lo Duca blooped a 2-2 pitch into center for a single, and both runners scored without a play at the plate.
“When I got to 0-2, I just said, `Don’t strike out. Try to put it in play and see what happens,”’ Lo Duca said. “I got jammed, and luckily it dropped in.”
The Brewers fell to 42-2 when leading after eight innings. The Marlins won in their final at-bat for the 11th time.
Billy Koch (1-2) pitched a perfect ninth for the Marlins.
Florida’s A.J. Burnett struggled early, then retired the final 12 batters he faced. He gave up four runs in seven innings, struck out nine and walked two.
With the score 4-all, Florida reliever Matt Perisho hit Geoff Jenkins on the elbow with a pitch to start the eighth. Grieve followed with his seventh home run to win the lefty-versus-lefty matchup. He improved to 7-for-9 lifetime against Perisho with four homers.
“I’ve thrown him everything but the kitchen sink,” Perisho said.
Milwaukee took a 1-0 lead in the second when Helms singled with two outs, Chad Moeller walked and Counsell singled home a run.
Counsell doubled home a run in the fourth, and the Brewers had runners at second and third with none out, but Burnett escaped further damage.
“We won the game when A.J. got out of the fourth inning with only one run scoring,” Lo Duca said.
Moeller sprained his left ankle running out a grounder in the fourth and left the game. X-rays were negative, and he is day-to-day. … The game was the first between the teams this season. Last year Florida won seven of nine from Milwaukee. … Sheets struck out in his only two at-bats, dropping his average to .073 (3-for-41). … Juan Encarnacion went hitless and is 1-for-17 against Sheets.