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Hand pitches Marlins past punchless Astros

Jul 8, 2011 - 4:18 AM Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Brad Hand earned his first major league win and Mike Stanton homered for the second straight game, as the Florida Marlins downed the Houston Astros, 5-0, in the opener of a four-game set.

Hand (1-3) didn't allow a hit through the first 4 1/3 innings. In all, he lasted seven frames, surrendering just two hits and three walks while striking out four.

"I was very pleased with my performance tonight," Hand said. "I got ahead of the hitters. That's the biggest thing we've been working on, my fast starts. I was getting ahead and pounding the strike zone."

Stanton, who delivered a game-winning, 10th-inning home run in Wednesday's 7-6 victory over Philadelphia, belted a two-run shot and Logan Morrison added a two-run double.

J.A. Happ (3-11) allowed five runs on five hits and a career-high seven walks over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out eight.

"The command wasn't there for him," Astros manager Brad Mills said. "He did work out of some jams with runners on base. You look back offensively, we couldn't get anything going."

The Astros, who have dropped 14 of their last 17, did not place a runner in scoring position and finished with just three hits, as Clint Barmes, Carlos Lee and Angel Sanchez each singled.

Mike Cameron, acquired via trade from the Red Sox on Tuesday, led off the second with a walk and Stanton followed with a blast into the vacant seats in left, as the Marlins took a 2-0 lead.

In the fifth, Florida placed runners on first and second behind an Emilio Bonifacio single and an intentional walk of Hanley Ramirez. Morrison made the Astros pay for the free pass with a fly ball to left, which fell under the glove of the diving Jason Michaels, as Bonifacio and Ramirez crossed the plate

An inning later, John Buck ripped a one-out single to center. Hand advanced Buck with a bunt and Happ was pulled in favor of Enerio Del Rosario.

Bonifacio, who finished 3-for-4, moved Buck to third with an infield single, and Omar Infante pushed the run across with a grounder between third and short.

Hand made his major league debut on June 7 and allowed just one hit -- a home run to Alex Gonzalez -- over six innings, but suffered the 1-0 loss.

On Thursday, Barmes notched a single in the fifth and Sanchez did the same in the sixth, but Hand otherwise proved unhittable.

Randy Choate worked a perfect eighth and Steve Cishek stranded Lee at first in the ninth to send the foundering Astros to another loss.

Game Notes

Houston activated Humberto Quintero from the 15-day disabled list prior to the game...The Marlins have taken three of four from the Astros this season...Bonifacio extended his hit streak to 10 games...Happ has lost seven consecutive decisions...The Marlins are 8-8 since Jack McKeon took over as interim manager.






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