Marlins 7, Brewers 2

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MIAMI (AP)—With their manager’s future in doubt, the Florida Marlins keep winning.

Joe Girardi’s overachieving young team won its sixth game in a row Saturday, climbing within four games of .500 for the first time since April by beating Milwaukee 7-2.

The surge comes as a feud festers between Girardi and owner Jeffrey Loria.

“That’s between him and him,” said Dontrelle Willis, who pitched seven innings. “It shouldn’t overshadow what the 25 guys in here are doing. These are all playoff-type games for us. It’s good we’re responding this way.”

Miguel Cabrera and Hanley Ramirez drove in two runs apiece to help Florida pull within four games of NL wild-card leader Cincinnati. Willis said Girardi has played a role in the Marlins’ surprising success.

“Skip is doing a great job of keeping us humble and poised,” Willis said. “I love the job he is doing.”

Before the latest victory, Loria declined to endorse Girardi’s work in his first year as manager. There has been speculation Girardi won’t return next season because of their rift, which became public three weeks ago.

“We’ll sit down at the end of the season and figure out what we’re going to do,” Loria said.

Girardi declined to comment.

“I just talk about the guys on the field,” he said.

The Marlins’ late-season soap opera is starting to attract attention: The crowd of 30,017 was their fourth-largest of the year.

“So many people told us we were going to lose 100 or 120 games,” said Mike Jacobs, who hit his 17th home run. “We’re proving a lot of people wrong.”

Fans had plenty to cheer about early. The first three batters scored against Doug Davis (9-8), and by the fourth inning the Marlins led 7-1.

Cabrera doubled home two runs in the first to tie the team record for RBIs in a month with 30. Willis (9-10) limited Milwaukee to seven hits and two runs, giving him back-to-back victories for only the second time this season.

“He kept mixing it up with fastballs in and fastballs away, and kept us off balance for the majority of the game,” said Bill Hall, who struck out twice. “He had a little lead to work with, and that always makes it easier for a pitcher.”

Davis allowed seven runs in 3 2-3 innings, hiking his road ERA to 6.46.

“I just didn’t really do my job tonight,” he said. “I fell behind hitters, and these guys are swinging the bat real well right now. They kept on hitting it where we weren’t.”

The Brewers fell to 23-41 on the road.

Ramirez led off Florida’s first with a double, Dan Uggla walked and Cabrera doubled for a 2-0 lead. Cody Ross’ two-out single scored Cabrera.

Jacobs slapped his helmet in frustration when he barely missed a double in the third, pulling a ball that landed just outside the right-field foul line. He homered on the next pitch to make it 5-0.

The last time the Marlins were within four games of .500 was at 3-7.

“We’ve still got to get to .500,” Girardi said. “Hopefully we can keep inching up there.”


Milwaukee’s David Bell was ejected after arguing a called third strike in the ninth inning. … University of Miami Family Night gave attendance a boost, generating season high group sales of 11,200. … Milwaukee RHP Derrick Turnbow, demoted last month from the closer’s role, walked two, threw two wild pitches and hit a batter in 1 1-3 innings. Turnbow also batted for the first time this season in the fifth inning and struck out.

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