Marlins 5, Brewers 3
MIAMI (AP)—Rookie Henry Owens stood at his locker, savoring the milestone save he had just earned, when someone came by with a photo of him throwing a pitch.
“What an ugly guy,” Owens said. “Thank God you don’t have to look good to get outs.”
The Marlins’ bullpen looked better Monday, when struggling closer Jorge Julio took the night off and three relievers combined for three scoreless innings, completing a 5-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.
Owens, who pitched the ninth for his first career save, said he likes the closer’s role.
“You have the opportunity to take your team home to victory, or you could blow it,” said Owens, who had 50 saves in the minors. “There’s a lot of responsibility, and I appreciate the responsibility.”
Teammate Lee Gardner earned his first career save Sunday.
“It has got to be some kind of record—two guys getting their first save on back-to-back nights,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez said he gave the struggling Julio the night off because the $3.6 million closer had pitched the previous two days. Julio will be back in the role Tuesday, Gonzalez said, despite a 16.88 ERA.
The rest of the Marlins’ young bullpen has an ERA of 2.18—one reason they’re 5-2 with three wins in a row.
They’re also winning because of Miguel Cabrera, who hit his third homer and drove in three runs. Anibal Sanchez (1-0) allowed eight hits and three walks in six innings but gave the bullpen a 5-3 lead.
With their ninth win in a row over the Brewers, the Marlins matched the longest active streak between teams in the major leagues. Florida went 7-0 against Milwaukee last year.
“It’s our first loss to the Marlins this year,” manager Ned Yost said. “I don’t care about any other year. I don’t care about anything but tonight.”
Free-agent acquisition Jeff Suppan (0-2) lost for the second time in as many starts. He allowed eight hits and five runs in six innings.
“I wasn’t locating,” Suppan said. “I made a lot of mistakes up. I made a lot of mistakes down the middle.”
Milwaukee lost for the fourth time in five games.
The Marlins, who began the week leading the majors in runs, scored two in the first and took a 4-1 lead in the third on Cabrera’s two-run homer, which increased his RBI total to 11. He began the week leading the NL in hitting and went 1-for-2 to remain at .500 with a slugging percentage of 1.042.
Cabrera said he’s benefiting from the productivity of the rest of the order. The Marlins are batting .311.
“I feel good,” he said. “I’m seeing good pitches to hit.”
Milwaukee’s Geoff Jenkins hit a two-run homer, his third.
Sanchez twice retired Rickie Weeks with runners at second and third to end threats. Weeks tripled and scored in the first, but he’s 0-for-6 this season with runners in scoring position.
Bill Hall also endured a tough night. The Brewers had runners at first and second with one out in the fifth, but Hall was doubled off first on a flyout to right to end the inning.
Center fielder Hall, a converted infielder, dropped a fly by Joe Borchard on the warning track for a three-base error in the sixth.
“That’s a play I’ve got to make,” Hall said.
Alejandro De Aza then hit a two-out RBI double over Hall’s head.
“We’re still going through some growing pains there,” Yost said.
De Aza, a rookie who has a hit in every game, is batting .333.
Florida scored twice in the first to take a 2-1 lead. Alfredo Amezaga led off with a double, took third on Dan Uggla’s single and scored on Cabrera’s sacrifice fly. Following a walk, Josh Willingham singled home a run for a 2-1 lead.
Uggla doubled to start the third, and Cabrera pulled a homer inside the foul pole.
Uggla, who had two hits for the second game in a row, has rebounded from a 2-for-22 start to hike his average to .214. … Suppan lost for the first time in four decisions in Miami.