for this game

Olsen returns to form, fuels Marlins

Aug 5, 2007 - 9:30 PM MIAMI (Ticker) -- Scott Olsen finally found a reason to smile.

Trying to put an arrest and a pair of sub-par performances in his rear-view mirror, the beleaguered Florida Marlins lefthander overcame a sluggish start to defeat the Houston Astros, 6-5, on Sunday.

Olsen, who was arrested for driving under the influence and resisting a police officer on July 21, refused to wilt under pressure against Houston. After surrendering two first-inning runs, the 23-year-old settled down - retiring 14 of 15 batters during one stretch - and kept the Astros off the board.

"I felt all right," Olsen said. "I was throwing my off-speed stuff for strikes. That's huge. You can't just throw fastballs for strikes and hope they chase everything else."

Olsen (9-9) allowed two runs on six hits and struck out eight in 7 1/3 innings.

"He was lights out today," said Marlins center fielder Cody Ross, who knocked in the winning run on a sacrifice fly.

In the eighth inning, when Florida rookie manager Fredi Gonzalez visited the mound to take the lefthander out of the game, Olsen mustered a slight smile before departing.

That facial expression had been missing in his last two outings, as Olsen was tagged for 13 runs in 10 innings over his last two starts.

Olsen also received a standing ovation from the small crowd at Dolphin Stadium when he left the mound and slap on the back from shortstop Hanley Ramirez.

"It feels great," Olsen said. "You're out there playing for the guys on your team, so if they think you did a good job, that's good. Fan reaction is great. They're in the game, they know what's going on."

"Nice outing," Gonzalez said. "Very nice. Probably his best (start) of the year. He threw the ball where he wanted to. ... He's making progress. You see signs."

It was the ninth time in Olsen's career he's fanned at least eight batters. In those games, Olsen is 6-0 and the Marlins are 8-1.

The Astros said the fact Olsen was able to mix up his pitches was the key to his success.

"He was throwing strikes and getting ahead of guys and putting them away with changeups and sliders," second baseman Chris Burke said. "He's got a pretty good combination of pitches.

"Olsen was great. You don't see a lot of lefthanders with command of all three pitches. That's what makes him tough."

Olsen's fortunes nearly took a hit after reliever Matt Lindstrom promptly surrendered a three-run home run to Carlos Lee, but Kevin Gregg got the final three outs for his 23rd save in 25 opportunities.

Houston got out of the blocks quickly after Lee's RBI double and Ty Wigginton's sacrifice fly gave the Astros a 2-0 lead.

Florida tied the game with solo tallies in the second and third innings, highlighted by Hanley Ramirez's second homer in as many games.

While Ramirez's 19th home run of the season was a positive for Florida, the low point came when All-Star third baseman Miguel Cabrera was hit by a pitch from Astros starter Matt Albers and sidelined with a left elbow contusion.

Cabrera, who is batting .338 with team highs of 27 home runs and 80 RBI this season, was replaced by Alfredo Amezaga at third base.

Amezaga wound up helping to turn a huge double play in the ninth to help Gregg out of a jam.

Gonzalez said Cabrera's fine and will be in the lineup Tuesday when the Marlins open a three-game series at Philadelphia.

The Marlins added three more runs in the fifth. Ross, who replaced Cabrera in the order, had an RBI double to plate Dan Uggla. He then came around to score on Todd Linden's single.

"It was good to help the team get the lead there, and come off the bench and contribute," Ross said. "We haven't been doing that as a team, getting guys over, sacrificing. To do that ... it feels good."

Albers (2-5), who allowed five runs on five hits in 4 1/3 innings, gave way to Stephen Randolph, who allowed Amezaga's run-scoring sacrifice fly to cap the scoring in the frame.

Randolph allowed Ross' sacrifice fly in the sixth before departing with a strained left bicep.

"We were right there. We got back close," Astros manager Phil Garner said. "That's enough of that baloney, though, we've gotten close a lot of times. ... We've got to get over the hump.

"It's very frustrating. We're not making good pitches when we need to. We're walking way too many guys. We're getting some rotten breaks but we're causing some of our own ills too."

Meanwhile, the Marlins still believe they have a lot for which to play.

"Everyone says we're out of it, but we're still going to go out and play hard," Ross said. "We still have over 50 games left. We can still make a push for (the playoffs) or spoil it for other teams."








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

    BATTERIES: HOU - MATT ALBERS, STEPHEN RANDOLPH (5TH), WOODY WILLIAMS (6TH),
    MARK MCLEMORE (7TH) AND BRAD AUSMUS, ERIC MUNSON (7TH)
    FLA - SCOTT OLSEN, MATT LINDSTROM (8TH), KEV

    Aug 5 4:04 PM
  • 40
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Astros vs. MarlinsAug 5 3:56 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY CARLOS LEE (23) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF MATT LINDSTROM SCORED CHRIS BURKE AND LANCE BERKMAN.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 5, FLORIDA 6
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: T WIGGINTON (.368, 0-FOR-1, BB, SF, RBI)

    Astros vs. MarlinsAug 5 3:42 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY CODY ROSS SCORED HANLEY RAMIREZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 2
    FLORIDA 6 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: M JACOBS (.253, 0-FOR-3)

    Astros vs. MarlinsAug 5 3:11 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY ALFREDO AMEZAGA SCORED TODD LINDEN.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, M TREANOR ON FIRST, J HERMIDA ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 2
    FLORIDA 5 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: S OLSEN (.216, 0-FOR-2)

    Astros vs. MarlinsAug 5 2:44 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY TODD LINDEN SCORED CODY ROSS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, T LINDEN ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 2
    FLORIDA 4 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: J HERMIDA (.259, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Astros vs. MarlinsAug 5 2:37 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CODY ROSS SCORED DAN UGGLA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C ROSS ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 2
    FLORIDA 3 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: M JACOBS (.254, 0-FOR-2)

    Astros vs. MarlinsAug 5 2:33 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY HANLEY RAMIREZ (19) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF MATT ALBERS.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 2, FLORIDA 2
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: D UGGLA (.251, 0-FOR-1)

    Astros vs. MarlinsAug 5 1:50 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY ALFREDO AMEZAGA SCORED TODD LINDEN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A AMEZAGA ON FIRST, J HERMIDA ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 2
    FLORIDA 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: S OLSEN (.229, 0 HR, 3 RBI)

    Astros vs. MarlinsAug 5 1:40 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    HOUSTON 2 2 3 0
    FLORIDA 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: HOU - MATT ALBERS
    FLA - SCOTT OLSEN

    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: H RAMIREZ (.342, 18 HR, 53 RBI)
    D UGGLA (.252, 23 HR, 69 RBI)
    M CABRERA (.339, 27 HR, 80 RBI)

    Astros vs. MarlinsAug 5 1:16 PM
  • 5
    roots
    maingrain Added 5 roots

    Astros vs. MarlinsJul 31 2:06 AM