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Speedy Bourn, Indians steal win from Marlins

The SportsXchange

MIAMI -- With three steals, a great slide at the plate and a couple of key defensive plays, Michael Bourn enjoyed himself Saturday night.

"It's always fun when you can add to the offense," said Bourn, the Cleveland Indians' center fielder. "You want to seize the opportunity and help us win a game."

Bourn did just that, jump-starting a Cleveland offense that finished with six steals in a 4-3 win over the Miami Marlins Saturday night at Marlins Park.

Former University of Miami pitcher Chris Perez pitched a rocky ninth inning to get his 16th save.

He allowed a Logan Morrison double and a run-scoring single by Greg Dobbs before escaping the jam by getting pinch hitter Placido Polanco to line out to center field with two outs and runners on second and third.

"One person I didn't want to see come up was Polanco," Bourn said. "That dude knows how to put the bat on the ball. That's going to happen. You know that's going to happen. You are just hoping it's at somebody, and I was able to make the catch."

Aggressive base running paid off for the Indians in the seventh inning when they snapped a 2-2 tie by scoring two runs.

Drew Stubbs singled and stole second when reliever Dan Jennings tried to pick him off. After Bourn walked, the duo pulled off a double steal despite a strong throw to third by Marlins catcher Rob Brantly.

With two outs, Jason Kipnis got the big hit, a two-run single to center. Stubbs scored easily, but center fielder Jake Marisnick made a strong throw home that nearly got Bourn.

Marlins manager Mike Redmond, who argued Stubbs' steal at third, angrily objected to the call at home. In both cases, though, the calls appeared justified, with Brantly having made a high tag on the latter play.

"I thought Bourn made a real good slide to get underneath because that was bang-bang," Indians manager Terry Francona said of the play at the plate.

Redmond called it a "busy night" for the umpires.

"A few close calls, and I don't know one way or the other whether those were actually safe or out," he said. "They just didn't go our way."

Cody Allen (5-1) picked up the win in relief.

Jennings (1-2) took the loss.

Indians starter Zach McAlister did not allow a hit until Brantly singled up the middle to lead off the sixth. Brantly scored on Christian Yelich's double to left-center and Ed Lucas tied the score 2-2 with a run-scoring single to left.

The Marlins loaded the bases with two outs in the inning, but Adeiny Hechavarria lined out to Bourn to end the threat.

Both McAlister (5 1/3 innings, two runs allowed) and Marlins starter Jacob Turner (six innings, two runs allowed) earned no-decisions.

After getting blanked on Friday, the Indians wasted no time scoring Saturday. Bourn led off the game with a single and a steal of second before scoring on Kipnis' single.

Bourn used his speed to give the Indians a 2-0 lead in the third. He beat out an infield hit to the hole in shortstop, stole second, raced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Brantly's throwing error.

Marisnick saved a run in the fifth. With Kipnis on first, Asdrubal Cabrera looped a single to center. Marisnick failed to make a diving catch, with the ball skipping a few feet away. Marisnick got back on his feet and threw a one-hop strike to Brantly, who tagged out Kipnis.

Overall, it was a tough night for Brantly, but Redmond didn't put all of the blame on his young catcher.

"It seems like he's had a few of those games where things just kind of snowball," Redmond said. "Part of that is his youth. His last three or four games, he's been pretty good.

"But you can't put that all on the catcher. They were taking advantage. (Turner) was not real quick to the plate, and that's something that he's been working on. And (reliever Ryan Webb) was not real quick to the plate, either.

"(The Indians) were trying to be aggressive, and that's part of their game. They've got some guys who can really run."

NOTES: Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez on Friday became the first MLB pitcher since Randy Johnson in 2004 to post two straight 13-plus strikeout games. Fernandez is the first rookie to perform the feat since Kerry Wood in 1998. And Fernandez's 27 total strikeouts in two straight games is a club record. In his past six starts, Fernandez is 4-1 with a 1.67 ERA. ... Cleveland's Ryan Raburn, who went 3-for-4 on Thursday with two homers and four RBIs, was on the bench Friday but returned to the lineup on Saturday and was playing right field. Raburn, released by Detroit after last season, has flourished with the Indians, playing less second base and more in the outfield. His OPS, which was a career-low .480 last year, is currently .961, which would be a career high. ... Marlins Double-A prospect Andrew Heaney, a lefty, on Friday extended his scoreless-innings streak to 34. ... Marlins OF Justin Ruggiano is mired in a 0-for-33 slump. It ties Mike Jacobs in 2007 for the longest drought in Marlins history.
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