Diamondbacks 4, Marlins 0

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MIAMI (AP)—Two former members of the Marlins helped slow Florida’s playoff run.

Claudio Vargas struck out six in seven innings, and Damion Easley homered to lead the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 4-0 victory Tuesday night.

“We’ll bounce back,” Marlins manager Joe Girardi said. “We still have a chance to win the series. If we want to play in October, we have to win series.”

Florida, which dropped three games behind San Diego in the NL wild-card race, lost for just the third time in 16 games and dropped back to .500 at 69-69. The Marlins, 11-31 on May 21, beat the Diamondbacks on Monday to become the first team in major league history to climb above .500 after being 20 games under.

Girardi made it to the ballpark about one hour before game time, about two hours after his wife gave birth to the couples’ third child, a daughter named Lena Yvonne. Kim Girardi also had labor induced when she delivered their first child in September 1999, when her husband played for the Yankees.

“I still have a job to do,” Girardi said. “I was there for the most important part. Kim understands completely. I don’t think Lena’s going to know unless someone tells her in five or six years.”

Dontrelle Willis (9-11) lost for the first time in four starts since Aug. 14. After walking Chris Snyder leading off the seventh, Willis left the game because of cramps.

“It was one of those days where the elements got me,” said Willis, who gave up five hits and three walks. “I came up short today. I got some fluids in me, so I’m feeling a little better now. I was sweating a lot. Usually, when it happens I’m able to pitch through it.”

Vargas (11-9), who spent the first 6 1/2 years of his professional career in the Marlins’ farm system, gave up four hits while walking two.

“I like seeing my friends do well, but not tonight,” said Marlins catcher Matt Treanor, who played with Vargas in the minors. “He was on top of his game.”

Luis Vizcaino and Jose Valverde combined for hitless relief, stopping Arizona s six-game losing streak overall and an eight-game slide on the road.

Carlos Quentin, a rookie who was called up in July, homered in the second and Orlando Hudson hit an RBI single in the third. Easley, who played for Florida the previous two seasons, homered in the fourth when the ball bounced out of the glove of Joe Borchard and went over the fence as the outfielder hit the wall.

“There’s no vindication,” Easley said. “It s always good to play against your former mates and see if you come out on top.”

Snyder added a sacrifice fly in the eighth off Matt Herges.

Arizona third baseman Andy Green saved a run in the third when he made a diving stop on Dan Uggla’s grounder and threw him out to strand a runner. Green had another spectacular defensive play when he dove to his right to nab Matt Treanor’s fifth-inning grounder down the line and threw him out at first.

Florida put two on with one out in the sixth, but Vargas struck out Miguel Cabrera and got Josh Willingham to fly out.

After coming back from a 5-0 deficit Monday with the help of a six-run, two-out rally in the sixth, the Marlins never gave up hope Tuesday.

“We showed anything can happen in one inning,” Uggla said. “We never gave up, never quit, but the bats just weren’t there tonight.”


Willis hit Easley with a pitch in the sixth inning, setting a team record with his 17th hit batter. Kevin Brown hit 16 in 1996. … Willis start was the 122nd, moving him past Ryan Dempster for third place on Florida’s career list. … Arizona left the bases loaded in the sixth and seventh innings.

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