Marlins 10, Brewers 3
MILWAUKEE (AP)—The Marlins made it back to .500 after sinking to 20 games below the even mark in May. Florida is making even bigger plans now.
Rookie Scott Olsen allowed one hit in seven scoreless innings, and the Marlins scored seven runs in the eighth to beat Milwaukee 10-3 on Sunday and extend the Brewers’ losing streak to 10 games.
“What our guys have accomplished so far to this point is special, but we have a chance to do something bigger: playoffs,” Marlins manager Joe Girardi said.
After the game, the team announced it was sending out order forms to season-ticket holders for the playoffs with Florida two games behind San Diego in the NL wild-card race.
“We can talk about it,” left fielder Josh Willingham said of the Marlins’ postseason chance. “Bottom line is we have 26 games left, and we’re going to have to win most of those games, maybe 15, to get to the playoffs.”
The Marlins have already won 12 of the last 14 with a staff that’s jelled at the right time, led by Dontrelle Willis and loaded with impressive rookies such as Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, Anibal Sanchez and Olsen.
Olsen (12-7) struck out seven and walked two as Florida (68-68) completed the three-game sweep and became the first team since the 1899 Louisville Colonels to return to .500 after falling 20 games below, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Marlins were 11-31 on May 21. The Colonels started 16-38 before reaching .500 at 72-72-3.
“It’s cool that we’re the first team to do that since 1900, but we have more important things ahead of us,” Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla said.
Olsen, who had 40 friends and family members at the game, allowed a soft single in the first to Jeff Cirillo, who also reached against the Marlins left-hander in the fourth on a walk. The rest of the Brewers went 0-for-21 with a walk against Olsen.
“I had my changeup going, I had my slider working,” Olsen said. “If I was behind in the count, they couldn’t sit dead-red fastball. So, they only got one hit.”
Florida, which has won all seven against the Brewers this season in the last 10 days, took a 1-0 lead after Hanley Ramirez doubled to lead off the game, stole third and scored his 100th run of the season on Miguel Cabrera’s single.
Olsen, two strikeouts shy of Willis’ franchise rookie record of 142, helped himself in the seventh with an RBI single. He then scored from first on Uggla’s double to make it 3-0.
Olsen also made a play at the plate in the seventh after two wild pitches allowed Bill Hall, who reached on a walk, to attempt to come home. Olsen blocked the plate and received a good throw from catcher Miguel Olivo as Hall tried to run through the tag.
Hall thought he had stepped around Olsen even though Olivo’s throw came in plenty of time.
“We’re just not getting the breaks,” Hall said. “That’s what happens when you’re losing.”
But the Brewers fell apart just after the play, giving up seven runs in the top of the eighth on an RBI single by Olivo, two-run singles by Ramirez and Alfredo Amezaga and a two-run double by Cabrera, who became the third-youngest player behind Mel Ott and Ted Williams with at least 100 RBIs in three consecutive seasons.
“I say thank you to everybody for being on base,” Cabrera deadpanned. “We’re playing better and better and have a super feeling right now.”
The Brewers have only felt frustrated, spoiling another quality start by Tomo Ohka (4-4), who gave up three runs and eight hits in seven innings.
Emotions nearly boiled over when reliever Geremi Gonzalez hit Uggla with a pitch down 8-0 in the eighth. Players came out of each dugout and Olivo was ejected by umpire Joe West before order was restored.
“I have a problem that Gonzalez was not thrown out because everyone knows that he hit Danny on purpose,” Girardi said. “It’s silly. I mean, that’s how you get your own hitters hurt.”
Yost defended Gonzalez, but said that it was tough to face a team so hot as they’ve struggled, hitting just .213 with 29 runs in the 10 losses after getting three runs in the eighth against reliever Matt Herges.
“I am drained from losing,” Cirillo said. “I take it personally.”
Tampa Bay was 18 games under .500 in 2004 at 10-28 before winning 30 of its next 40. … It was Florida’s first season series sweep of seven games or longer over any opponent in franchise history. … Brewers RHP Matt Wise will have season-ending elbow surgery in the next week, assistant general manager Gord Ash said. Ash said Wise should be ready for spring training.