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Moehler's 22-game winless streak ends as Marlins rout Pirates

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

PITTSBURGH -- Brian Moehler ended a slump that probably seemed without end.

Moehler won for the first time in 23 games since July, taking a shutout into the eighth inning as Florida opened an early eight-run lead in beating the Pirates 8-2 Sunday.

"Thanks for remembering that," Moehler said, smiling, when reminded that he hadn't won since July 20 -- a stretch that included 14 starts and eight relief appearances.

By taking two of three, the Marlins won a series of three or more games for the first time this season. The Marlins (11-24) no longer have the NL's worst record, a distinction that now belongs to the Pirates (11-27).

"Everything was bad all the way around," Pirates starter Ian Snell said.

He was talking about his performance, though he could have been referring to their season.

Miguel Cabrera, the only proven veteran hitter in a Marlins lineup that features mostly rookies, hit a three-run homer during a five-run second inning against Snell (2-3) that helped make it 8-0. Joe Borchard hit a solo drive in the first. Snell hadn't allowed an earned run in his previous two starts at home, only to give up seven runs and seven hits in 1 1/3 innings.

Those are numbers more often associated with Moehler (1-4), who came into the game with some of the worst numbers of any starting pitcher in the majors -- an 0-4 record, 9.76 ERA and .368 opponents batting average.

But the right-hander was in control from the start against the Pirates, not giving up a run until Jose Bautista hit his second career homer, and second of the series, leading off the eighth for Pittsburgh's first extra-base hit.

Moehler (1-4) was lifted after giving up eight hits and two runs, striking out one and walking one in 7 1/3 innings.

"I'm sure it's really important for him," manager Joe Girardi said of Moehler ending his slide.

For the Pirates, it was a matter of going from bad to worse, as they extended what has become the franchise's second-worst start since the 19th century.

Only the 1952 Pirates had a worse record (7-31) to this point than these Pirates -- and they went on to win only 42 of 154 games. The 1890 Pittsburgh Alleghenies, the forerunners to the Pirates, were 9-28-1 after 38 games.

That the Pirates were dominated by one of the majors' least-effective starting pitchers only illustrates how poorly they have played. Their reward? Of all things, a trip to Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame for Monday's exhibition game against the Reds.

Moehler hadn't won in 14 starts and eight relief appearances since July 20, going 0-10 with an 8.27 ERA overall and 0-9 with an 8.61 ERA in his starts. The Marlins were 3-19 during the right-handed Moehler's winless streak and were 1-9 in his last 10 starts.

"I've had some good games, it just hasn't worked out," Moehler said. "You don't think about, you go out there and hopefully give your team a chance to win every time out."

By contrast, Snell looked to be settling down following a rough start this season, giving up five earned runs over his previous four starts. But he retired only four of 14 batters, allowing Borchard's homer, three singles, walking two, allowing a stolen base and throwing a wild pitch -- and that was only the first inning.

In the second, Hanley Ramirez singled for the second of his three hits and Dan Uggla walked ahead of Cabrera's sixth homer. After Snell was lifted, Miguel Olivo had a two-run double off reliever Ryan Vogelsong.

"I just didn't have it," Snell said. "Everything was flat -- I didn't have any movement, and my slider was flat. They came out swinging, and they came out swinging hot. They hit the ball pretty hard."

Notes

  • The Marlins won a series in Pittsburgh for the first time since 2001. They were 2-12 there over the last five seasons before winning the final two games of the series.
  • Ramirez really was the Marlins' leadoff batter -- he led off an inning each of the five times he batted.
  • Ramirez had eight hits in the series.
  • Pirates C Humberto Cota was lifted to start the third because of a bruised right knee.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Mike Jacobs slides in safely past catcher Humberto Cota in the Marlins' five-run second inning.  (AP)
Mike Jacobs slides in safely past catcher Humberto Cota in the Marlins' five-run second inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
Pittsburgh

F. Sanchez
AB 3
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
Florida

H. Ramirez
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
 

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Florida Marlins
Hanley Ramirez, SS5230020 .345
    Alfredo Amezaga, SS0000000 .278
Dan Uggla, 2B2210100 .301
Miguel Cabrera, 3B4114022 .338
   a- Wes Helms, PH-3B1000011 .227
Josh Willingham, LF4001023 .296
    Reggie Abercrombie, LF0000000 .232
Joe Borchard, RF4221002 .250
   b- Chris Aguila, PH-RF1000000 .235
Mike Jacobs, 1B4110120 .198
Miguel Olivo, C5022010 .264
Eric Reed, CF2000111 .114
Brian Moehler, P4000015 .000
    Randy Messenger, P0000000 .000
    Yusmeiro Petit, P0000000 .000
Totals36810831214 
a-struck out for Cabrera in the 8th
b-popped out for Borchard in the 9th
Batting
2B - Miguel Olivo (9, Vogelsong)
HR - Miguel Cabrera (6, Snell), Joe Borchard (2, Snell)
SF - Josh Willingham (3)
RBI - Miguel Cabrera 4 (30), Josh Willingham (29), Joe Borchard (6), Miguel Olivo 2 (12)
2-OUT RBI - Joe Borchard (5)
SB - Hanley Ramirez 2 (10, 2nd base off Snell/Cota, 2nd base off Snell/Cota)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Uggla-H. Ramirez-Jacobs, Cabrera-Uggla-Jacobs
Florida Marlins
Brian Moehler (W,1-4) 7.1822111 8.23
Randy Messenger 0.2100010 2.63
Yusmeiro Petit 1100020 0.00
HBP - F. Sanchez (by Brian Moehler)
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Moehler 110-74, Randy Messenger 9-7, Yusmeiro Petit 18-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Moehler 11-8
Batters Faced - Brian Moehler 30, Randy Messenger 3, Yusmeiro Petit 4
Pittsburgh Pirates
Jose Bautista, 3B4111102 .292
Chris Duffy, CF4000001 .194
Freddy Sanchez, SS3130000 .319
Jason Bay, LF4010013 .266
Jeromy Burnitz, RF4011002 .185
Craig Wilson, 1B4000014 .266
Jose Castillo, 2B4010010 .256
Humberto Cota, C0000000 .245
    Ronny Paulino, C4010010 .299
Ian Snell, P0000000 .000
    Ryan Vogelsong, P1010000 .500
   a- Nate McLouth, PH1000001 .231
    John Grabow, P0000000 .000
   b- Jack Wilson, PH1000000 .307
    Damaso Marte, P0000000 .000
    Mike Gonzalez, P0000000 .000
   c- Jose Hernandez, PH1010000 .171
Totals3521021413 
a-flied out for Vogelsong in the 5th
b-grounded out for Grabow in the 7th
c-singled for Gonzalez in the 9th
Batting
2B - Freddy Sanchez (7, Moehler)
HR - Jose Bautista (2, Moehler)
RBI - Jose Bautista (4), Jeromy Burnitz (19)
2-OUT RBI - Jeromy Burnitz (13)
Team LOB - 8
Pittsburgh Pirates
Ian Snell (L,2-3) 1.1777202 6.00
Ryan Vogelsong 3.2111140 5.14
John Grabow 2200050 5.63
Damaso Marte 1000020 2.53
Mike Gonzalez 1000010 1.88
HBP - Uggla (by Ian Snell), Reed (by John Grabow), Uggla (by Damaso Marte)
WP - Ian Snell (1), Ryan Vogelsong (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Ian Snell 51-29, Ryan Vogelsong 47-26, John Grabow 33-25, Damaso Marte 14-10, Mike Gonzalez 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ian Snell 1-3, Ryan Vogelsong 3-4, John Grabow 1-0, Mike Gonzalez 1-1
Batters Faced - Ian Snell 14, Ryan Vogelsong 13, John Grabow 9, Damaso Marte 4, Mike Gonzalez 3
Game Information
Attendance - 15921
Game Time - 2:43
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - Larry Vanover, First Base - Greg Gibson, Second Base - Charlie Reliford, Third Base - Paul Nauert