Rockies 8 Marlins 7
MIAMI (AP)—Brian Fuentes needed a little time before returning to his usual form on Saturday.
A night after suffering his first blown save in 22 opportunities, Fuentes hung on to save the Rockies’ 8-7 victory over the sloppy Florida Marlins.
Garrett Atkins homered and drove in three runs, and Matt Holliday had two doubles, a triple and two RBIs for the Rockies, who won their third straight. Colorado has won the first two games of the three-game series and is 3-0-1 in road series this season.
The Marlins loaded the bases against Fuentes in the ninth but the closer struck out Reggie Abercrombie on three pitches to get his fifth save in six chances.
“We’re not used to him blowing a save, but we’re definitely used to him coming through,” Atkins said. “We still have full confidence in him. He’s going to find a way to get it done and he did again tonight.”
Fuentes’ last blown save before Friday was on July 22.
“You kind of welcome adversity sometimes,” Fuentes said. “It makes you stronger.”
Josh Willingham hit his fifth homer for Florida. The Marlins committed a season-high four errors, one short of a franchise record.
“We played a bad game, we were fortunate to be in that game,” Florida manager Joe Girardi said. “Bad baseball, bottom line—it’s bad baseball.”
With the score tied at 5, the Rockies scored two unearned runs in the sixth off Randy Messenger (0-1), whose throwing error on Clint Barmes’ bunt allowed Cory Sullivan come around and set up Atkins’ RBI single.
Sullivan doubled in Luis Gonzalez in the seventh to extend the lead to 8-5.
Willingham’s 429-foot, two-run homer off Miguel Asencio (1-0) pulled Florida within one in the bottom half. Willingham had a career-high three hits.
Neither starting pitcher lasted very long. Colorado’s Josh Fogg gave up five runs—two earned—and six hits in four innings. His throwing error and wild pitch led to the unearned runs.
“Both teams were able to take some advantages of the mistakes that were made,” Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. “It shows growth on our side. Last year we were the team making the mistakes. We capitalized pretty good tonight, and that’s the sign of a team getting better.”
Jason Vargas went 2 1-3 innings for the Marlins, giving up four runs, six hits and three walks. He struck out three.
“I’m just throwing too many pitches, too many up high,” Vargas said. “Before I knew it, it was the third inning and four runs were in.”
Atkins’ two-run homer highlighted Colorado’s four-run third. It was Atkins’ fourth homer.
Following the game, Asencio was sent to Triple-A Colorado Springs to make room for RHP Byung-Hyun Kim, who was activated from the disabled list. Kim will start Sunday. … Vargas was the first left-handed starter the Rockies faced this season. Every other team in the majors had faced at least two lefty starters. … Mitre, scheduled to oppose Kim on Sunday, made his first career pinch-hit appearance. … Colorado improved to 8-3 in one-run games. Florida fell to 1-7.
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