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Updated: Saturday, August 9, 2003 12:42 AM EDT
MLB RECAP
Florida Marlins
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
5 7 0
Milwaukee Brewers
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R H E
3 9 2
W Pavano (9-10)
L Sheets (10-9)
S Looper (23)
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FLORIDA 5, MILWAUKEE 3
 

MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- Juan Encarnacion and Carl Pavano were the latest players to come through for the Florida Marlins .

Encarnacion homered and Pavano pitched six effective innings as the Marlins posted a 5-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers .

Florida avoided its second two-game skid since the All-Star break and has won 13 of its last 17. The Marlins also are 10-5 in their last 15 on the road.

After Mike Lowell 's one-out RBI single in the fourth inning forged a 1-1 tie, Encarnacion belted his 13th homer to put Florida ahead for good. It was his first home run since July 6.

Pavano (9-10) allowed a pair of runs and five hits for his third straight victory. The righthander is 3-0 with a 4.07 ERA in his last four outings.

"He did a good job and kept us in the ballgame," Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. "He's done that quite well. He's been able to give us five or six or seven innings."

The Marlins' bullpen had its 22-inning scoreless streak snapped in the seventh when John Vander Wal greeted Nate Bump with his 13th homer to cut the deficit to 5-3. Bump finished the inning and Ugueth Urbina took over in the eighth.

Milwaukee loaded the bases on a double by Brady Clark and a pair of walks, bringing up Richie Sexson with one out. But Urbina got the Brewers slugger to ground into an inning-ending double play before closer Braden Looper worked around a hit in the ninth for his 23rd save in 27 chances.

"I've watched Urbina since I was a rookie in '98 and I have the utmost confidence in him," Pavano said. "I know he's not a closer now, but he closed for us for four straight years (with the Montreal Expos ) and he's got a heart of steel. Nothing phases him, nothing scares him."

McKeon was satisfied with the result, although he felt his bullpen made things more difficult than they needed to be.

"We didn't get the greatest of relief pitching, but it was enough to hold on," he said. "They were a little off, but they battled back. They're entitled to give up a run here or a run there."

Sexson also hit into an inning-ending double play in the sixth inning.

"They're huge momentum shifts, they take the wind out of their sails and gives us a lot of momentum into the next inning," Lowell said. "They totally change the way the game is viewed from that point on."

"Those are situations that you would like to get the ball in the air," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. "Richie battled and put good at-bats on both of them. It just didn't work out."

Brewers starter Ben Sheets (10-9) allowed all five runs and six hits over seven innings. The five earned runs were the most the righthander surrendered since June 15 against Baltimore.

Sheets yielded only one hit through the first three innings and took a 1-0 lead into the fourth. Luis Castillo drew a leadoff walk and Ivan Rodriguez grounded into a forceout, but second baseman Eric Young threw wildly on the relay to first and Rodriguez took second. That set the stage for the Marlins' three-run outburst.

Castillo opened the sixth with an infield hit, stole second and moved to third on Rodriguez's single. Lowell delivered an RBI single and Rodriguez later scored on a wild pitch by Sheets.

"When some of those guys get on, it turns the whole inning around," Sheets said. "That's what Castillo did today. It's tough trying to slide-step and mix your pitches."


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