Hermida hits 2 of Florida’s record 6 homers in 10-6 win over Astros

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HOUSTON (AP)—Jeremy Hermida doesn’t like to think of himself as a home run hitter.

Like it or not, he and more than half the Florida Marlins starting lineup wore the title well Friday night when they set a team record with six home runs in a 10-6 win over struggling Roy Oswalt and the Houston Astros.

Hermida hit two of Florida’s home runs and four other players connected.

Oswalt (0-3) gave up four home runs in a game for the first time in his career. Hermida had his first multihomer game in the majors.

Hermida said the team talked a lot in the spring about picking up the slack offensively with Miguel Cabrera gone to Detroit.

“With losing Miggy just the whole lineup had to step up,” he said. “You can go through the lineup and see a lot of guys have done that so far. We have different guys contribute every night and that’s what we need.”

The Marlins previous record for homers was five. Florida has hit 20 in 10 games this season.

Oswalt allowed nine hits and eight runs in four innings. The three-time All-Star has struggled in each of his three starts this season, allowing a combined 30 hits and 17 runs.

He said he’s concerned.

“Certainly I am. I have never went through this before,” he said. “Hopefully it will change.”

The five home runs he’s given up this season are more than a third of the 14 he allowed last year.

Astros manager Cecil Cooper said Oswalt is healthy and he doesn’t know why he’s having trouble.

“If I knew I’d tell you. I have no clue. No clue,” Cooper said. “Going into this game I thought it was his best stuff. I don’t know what happened.”

Houston led 3-0 before the Marlins scored five times in the third inning. Alfredo Amezaga hit an RBI single and Hermida’s two-run homer tied it.

After Mike Jacobs singled, Jorge Cantu hit a home run that bounced off the railroad tracks in left field, giving Florida a 5-3 lead and eliciting boos from the home crowd.

“We hung in there and made him throw some balls over the plate and swung the bat pretty good,” Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “I’m glad we got out of there with the win. It’s tough to beat Roy.”

Oswalt’s problems continued in the fourth when Mike Rabelo, activated from the disabled list earlier in the day, led off with a home run. Pitcher Ricky Nolasco singled and Hanley Ramirez followed with a home run, making it 8-3 and drawing even louder and more spirited boos.

Hermida and Jacobs hit consecutive homers in the ninth inning.

Hermida said he never imagined they’d set the team record for home runs with Oswalt pitching.

“Definitely not,” he said. “Roy Oswalt is one of the best pitchers in the game and his numbers aren’t showing that this year but he’s still one of the best. Every time you face him it’s a tough day.”

Lance Berkman hit his third home run of the season in the Houston fifth and Geoff Blum’s two-run homer later in the inning made it 8-6.

Berkman had an RBI double in the first. Singles by Miguel Tejada and Blum and an error by Jacobs at first base put Houston ahead 3-0.

Nolasco (1-0) got the win in his first start of 2008 after two appearances in long relief. He allowed seven hits and five earned runs in five innings.

Nolasco hadn’t started a game since May 17 and was put on the DL two days later with elbow inflammation.

“I was a little anxious there in the first,” he said. “I tried to do a little too much a little too quickly, but I tried to settle down after that, and I was able to do that.”

Notes

The Astros placed 3B Ty Wigginton on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 6 with a fractured left thumb on Friday and will purchase the contract of David Newhan from Triple-A Round Rock on Saturday. … Houston 2B Kaz Matsui, who is recovering from surgery to repair an anal fissure, was scratched from his rehab assignment with Double-A Corpus Christi Friday with a sore back. … Florida hitting coach Jim Presley was ejected in the seventh inning for arguing a call.

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