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Updated: Monday, September 13, 2004 7:54 PM EDT
MLB RECAP
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FLORIDA 6, MONTREAL 3
 

CHICAGO (Ticker) -- The city of Chicago really has become a magical place for the Florida Marlins .

Playing at U.S. Cellular Field due to Hurricane Ivan, the Marlins took advantage of four errors in a six-run eighth inning and posted a 6-3 victory from the Montreal Expos .

Trailing 2-0 entering the bottom of the eighth, the Marlins erased a deficit just as they had in Games Six and Seven of last year's National League Championship Series in Wrigley Field against the Cubs.

"I had the feeling we were going to come back. Our guys keep battling away," Florida manager Jack McKeon said. "We know when we're within two runs we've got a chance to win."

Juan Pierre opened the eighth with an infield hit, Luis Castillo had a bloop single and Paul Lo Duca reached on a sacrifice bunt that Expos reliever Gary Majewski (0-1) could not pick up, loading the bases.

Miguel Cabrera then hit a chopper to Tony Batista that he dropped attempting to step on third, allowing Pierre to score and keeping the bases loaded.

Two batters later, Jeff Conine hit a sacrifice fly to tie the score and Juan Encarnacion drew a walk to load the bases again. Alex Gonzalez followed with a fly ball that right fielder Juan Rivera had pop out of his glove, allowing two more runs to score.

Pinch hitter Lenny Harris followed with an RBI single for the Marlins, who moved to within two games of idle San Francisco in the NL wild card race.

"I'm not taking anything I see close," Harris said. "I pretty much go up there swinging."

Matt Perisho (5-2) retired the side in order in the eighth inning and Armando Benitez closed out the win despite giving up a leadoff home run to Batista.

Pierre finished with three hits and Josh Beckett struck out six over seven innings for Florida.

"Our pitching kept us in the game," Pierre said. "(Montreal) scored early and (Beckett) kept them right at two runs to allow our offense to do something."

Expos starter Sun-woo Kim held Florida without a run over the first seven innings, scattering seven hits and striking out two.

"It's sad to see we couldn't win the ballgame," Montreal manager Frank Robinson said. "We scored two runs in the first inning - left a man at third base with less than two outs. You just can't keep letting it hang there that close just because of what happened."

A crowd of 4,003 came out to park - with a portion of the proceeds going to the relief effort in Florida. The two teams will play again in Chicago on Tuesday.


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