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Updated: Thursday, September 4, 2003 6:15 PM EDT
MLB RECAP
Pittsburgh Pirates
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R H E
1 8 0
Florida Marlins
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
5 8 1
W Tejera (2-3)
L Lincoln (2-5)
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FLORIDA 5, PITTSBURGH 1
 

MIAMI (Ticker) -- The Florida Marlins capped a successful homestand by getting power from unlikely sources.

Juan Pierre , Alex Gonzalez and pinch hitter Ramon Castro homered as the Marlins posted a 5-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates .

Pierre hit just his fifth homer as a professional and first since September 29, 2002 - a span of 572 at-bats. He had one home run in the minor leagues and three with the Colorado Rockies last year.

"Earlier this year, I was teased about (not having a home run) and I told them my slugging percentage is up in September. And they didn't believe me," Pierre said. "I hit a couple of doubles earlier and they still don't believe me, so I don't think they'll be back on my side so much."

"It was very nice to see Pierre get his first home run," Marlins manager Jack McKeon added. "Everybody on the club was rooting for that to happen sooner or later."

Gonzalez hit his 16th of the year while Castro came off the bench to belt his fourth of the season in his first appearance since rape charges were filed against him last week.

Casto, who was warmly received by the crowd at Pro Player Stadium, hopes to get in the lineup this weekend when the Marlins play the Montreal Expos in his native Puerto Rico.

"I think people trust me," he said. "I'm happy to be going home to see my family. I hope they give me at least one opportunity in my country to play."

The Marlins completed a 6-1 homestand and moved one-half game ahead of Philadelphia in the National League wild card race. The Phillies host the New York Mets on Thursday night.

Florida improved to 46-26 at home, but the Marlins were just 1-8 on their last trip.

Michael Tejera (2-3) got the final two outs in the seventh in relief of starter Carl Pavano to record the win. Pavano was seeking a career-high third straight win.

"I think we're going on all cylinders," Pavano said when asked about the Marlins' road woes. "I think this one (trip) will be different."

Salomon Torres (5-4) took the loss, yielding two runs and four hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Pierre gave the Marlins a 1-0 lead with a solo homer off Torres in the fourth.

The Pirates tied it in the sixth on Matt Stairs ' solo shot, but the Marlins broke it open with four runs in the seventh.

Torres left after giving up a single to Juan Encarnacion and hitting Derrek Lee . Mike Lincoln surrendered an RBI single to Miguel Cabrera , who broke out of a 1-for-35 slump, then served up back-to-back homers to Gonzalez and Castro that made it 5-1.

"(Lincoln) just didn't make the pitches he wanted to make," Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said. "He went to 3-0 on one guy and he hung a curveball. That's not good. That's pretty much the ballgame."

The four-run seventh was the Marlins' biggest inning since they scored five times in the fifth on August 17 against San Diego.

"We get four runs in one inning," McKeon said. "You can send up some kind of rocket. We don't get that too often. We're a club that's got to take one run at a time."

Chad Fox and Rick Helling each tossed a scoreless inning for the Marlins.


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