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Cabrera powers Marlins past Nationals in rubber game

Jul 15, 2007 - 10:00 PM MIAMI (Ticker) -- Miguel Cabrera's shoulder apparently is feeling fine.

Cabrera blasted a pair of solo home runs Sunday afternoon to lead the Florida Marlins to a 5-3 triumph over the Washington Nationals.

It was the fifth victory in the last seven games for the Marlins, who won consecutive home contests for the first time since May 10 and May 22. Florida also secured its first series win at home since taking two of three games from Philadelphia from May 22-24.

"It is really important for us to win games at home now," Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "If you want to make any sort of a run (in the second half), it's going to be important to win series here."

Florida's lone representative at Tuesday's All-Star game, Cabrera was forced to withdraw from Monday's Home Run Derby with a sore left shoulder. The third baseman suffered the injury a week ago while trying to make a diving stop on a grounder.

The sore shoulder cost Cabrera a spot in the home-run exhibition and also affected his appearance in the All-Star game, as he struck out in a pinch-hitting role.

But Cabrera looked quite healthy Sunday, ripping a tie-breaking homer in the third inning and launching a towering blast in the fifth. The second homer - his 21st of the season - traveled an estimated 471 feet and landed nine rows back in the upper deck at Dolphin Stadium.

"I couldn't have done that (Monday) - no way," Cabrera said. "It was sore and bothered me.

"I got good pitches to hit both times and was able to drive both of them."

Cabrera, who ranks third on the franchise's all-time list with 125 career homers, also belted a two-run homer in Saturday's 5-2 triumph.

"What he does offensively is the stuff Hall-of-Fame players have done," Gonzalez said. "He's a special player."

Gonzalez said Cabrera's shoulder was "pretty close" to 100 percent, and that's enough to make him a feared hitter.

"Even at 80 or 90 percent, you don't want to face him when he's swinging like that," Gonzalez said. "He's that good."

"It feels a lot better," said Cabrera when asked about the shoulder.

But he later grew agitated when asked if he keeps track of the distances on his home runs.

"What do you think ... of course not. They go where they go," Cabrera said. "It doesn't matter how far you hit them as long as they go out. Next question."

Josh Willingham also homered for the second time in as many games Sunday, an opposite-field shot off Nationals starter Jason Simontacchi (6-7) to start the second inning and stake the Marlins to a 1-0 advantage.

"I don't even try to hit them as far as (Cabrera) does," Willingham said. "I just try to get good swings and get as much wood on it as possible."

Despite lasting only five innings, Florida starter Scott Olsen (7-7) pitched well enough to earn his fifth win at home this season. The Marlins are 7-3 in games that Olsen has started here this season.

The lefthanded Olsen yielded two runs, six hits and five walks with two strikeouts.

Olsen escaped trouble in the fifth inning when, with two on and two outs, Felipe Lopez singled home Nook Logan to cut the deficit to 3-2. However, center fielder Alfredo Amezaga made a perfect throw to nail Ronnie Belliard at the plate for the third out.

"When you get plays like that from your fielders, it makes all the difference because they could have scored three or four runs that inning," Olsen said. "I was very lucky; they were keeping it close and keeping the pressure on."

Washington tied the game, 1-1, in its half of the third inning, but Florida jumped back in front when Cabrera deposited Simontacchi's offering into the lower deck for his first homer of the game.

"It's just fun to watch when he hits them like that. I can't hit a golf ball that far," Olsen said. "And it's great for me, obviously."

Florida extended its lead to 3-1 in the fourth when Amezaga tripled - his seventh this season and the 26th by Florida this season - and later scored on a double by Hanley Ramirez.

Washington threatened against reliever Armando Benitez with a pair of walks to start the eighth inning, but the righthander escaped the jam without allowing a run. Kevin Gregg logged a scoreless ninth for his 20th save.

Simontacchi had blanked Florida over five innings at RFK Stadium to earn the win on May 13. But the righthander struggled in this one, allowing five runs and nine hits with four walks and four strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings.

"(Cabrera) is a good hitter. He's the one guy you don't want to hurt you on this (Marlins) team," Simontacchi said. "Twice, he crushed us today. What can you do? Take your hat off to him."

Washington manager Manny Acta said his pitchers gave up too many homers - nine - in the series.

"People like to say 'speed kills,' but I think 'power kills,'" Acta said "Those guys out-homered us, 9-0. It was taking us two or three hits to score a run but they just came up and hit the ball right out of the ballpark."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    WASHINGTON 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 3 9 0
    FLORIDA 0 1 1 1 2 0 0 0 x 5 10 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: WAS - JASON SIMONTACCHI, RAY KING (5TH), CHRIS SCHRODER (6TH), LUIS
    AYALA (7TH), SAUL RIVERA (8TH) AND JESUS FLORES
    FLA - SCOTT OLSEN, RENYEL PINTO (6TH), MATT LIND

    Jul 15 3:56 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DMITRI YOUNG SCORED RONNIE BELLIARD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D YOUNG ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 3
    FLORIDA 5 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: A KEARNS (.252, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Nationals vs. MarlinsJul 15 3:20 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MIGUEL OLIVO SCORED MIKE JACOBS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M OLIVO ON FIRST, J HERMIDA ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 2
    FLORIDA 5 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: A AMEZAGA (.277, 2-FOR-2)

    Nationals vs. MarlinsJul 15 2:49 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MIGUEL CABRERA (21) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 5TH OFF JASON SIMONTACCHI.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 2, FLORIDA 4
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: M JACOBS (.273, 1-FOR-2)

    Nationals vs. MarlinsJul 15 2:39 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY FELIPE LOPEZ SCORED NOOK LOGAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, 2 LEFT ON, 3 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 2
    FLORIDA 3 END TOP, 5TH

    Nationals vs. MarlinsJul 15 2:34 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY HANLEY RAMIREZ SCORED ALFREDO AMEZAGA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, H RAMIREZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1
    FLORIDA 3 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: D UGGLA (.243, 0-FOR-2)

    Nationals vs. MarlinsJul 15 2:20 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MIGUEL CABRERA (20) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF JASON SIMONTACCHI.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1, FLORIDA 2
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: M JACOBS (.268, 0-FOR-1)

    Nationals vs. MarlinsJul 15 2:00 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY DMITRI YOUNG SCORED JASON SIMONTACCHI.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R ZIMMERMAN ON FIRST, R BELLIARD ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1
    FLORIDA 1 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: A KEARNS (.252, 0-FOR-1)

    Nationals vs. MarlinsJul 15 1:56 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JOSH WILLINGHAM (14) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 2ND OFF JASON SIMONTACCHI.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 0, FLORIDA 1
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: J HERMIDA (.242, 9 HR, 29 RBI)

    Nationals vs. MarlinsJul 15 1:31 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Hogie Added 5 roots

    Nationals vs. MarlinsMay 24 6:53 PM