Arizona at Florida

Scoreboard
Arizona (28-19)000000000070
Florida (27-19) «10000030x490

Lefty Miller shuts down D-Backs, completes Marlins sweep

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

MIAMI -- The crowd of 13,233 scattered about the vast stadium rose with a roar as Justin Miller prepared to throw the night's final pitch, completing an improbable series sweep for the Florida Marlins.

Baseball fever, Miami style.

Miller's strikeout sealed the first shutout of the Arizona Diamondbacks this season, and surprising Florida won 4-0 Thursday to sweep the three-game showdown of first-place teams.

The series was the most impressive yet by the Marlins. The team with baseball's lowest payroll built its NL East lead with the help of a weak early schedule, but there was nothing fluky about the way they beat NL West leaders.

"This is a big series for us confidence-wise," said Wes Helms, who drove in two runs with a pinch-hit double in the finale. "This is something to build on. It shows this team we can do big things. We not only can beat the small teams; we can beat the big teams."

The Diamondbacks arrived in Miami with the best record in the majors. They ranked fourth in runs but totaled only 17 hits in the three games and were outscored 10-3.

"We're just struggling," manager Bob Melvin said. "We're going to have to fight through it. No one is going to feel sorry for you."

Andrew Miller (4-3) helped complete the sweep by limiting Arizona to five hits in seven innings. Throwing a fastball that peaked at 98 mph, he had a career-high nine strikeouts, walked one and allowed only one runner to reach second base.

Miller smiled when asked how long the Marlins can keep surprising the so-called experts.

"I don't mind if they count us out until they can't anymore," he said. "That doesn't affect the way we play. If we're the underdog all along, that's fine."

Acquired in the trade that sent Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to Detroit, Miller had an ERA of 9.12 on May 1, but it's now down to 5.33, and he has won four of his past five decisions.

"The way I was pitching the beginning of the year, it's nice to be able to go out and give these guys some good outings," Miller said.

Logan Kensing and Justin Miller pitched one inning each to complete the seven-hitter.

The Marlins, last in the majors in fielding, committed no errors in the series and repeatedly came through with clutch hits. And long-apathetic South Florida is beginning to notice its upstart team: The crowd for the final game was the largest this week.

"The only way you get people in the stands is to win," Helms said. "You win, they'll come. It might take another month, but they'll come. All we have to do is keep winning."

Helms' double knocked out Dan Haren (5-3), who yielded hits and four runs in 6 1/3 innings. Jorge Cantu also drove in two runs.

The three Arizona pitchers Florida beat came into the series with a combined record of 19-3. On Wednesday, the Marlins became the first team this season to defeat Brandon Webb.

The sweep was the Marlins' fourth this year. Their most recent sweep against Arizona was a three-game set July 28-30, 2003.

The Diamondbacks lost their sixth road game in a row, and their three-game losing streak matches their longest this season.

"A lot of people in here are frustrated with the way we're playing," Haren said in the clubhouse. "We know we're better than that."

Florida's Hanley Ramirez, who slumped after dropping to third in the order three weeks ago, moved back to leadoff and started the first inning with a triple. He scored on a groundout by Cantu.

Matt Treanor singled with one out in the seventh, and Alfredo Amezaga followed with a single, his fifth consecutive hit. Helms batted for Andrew Miller and doubled for a 3-0 lead.

Helms hustled to third on a groundout, then scored on Cantu's two-out single.

The Marlins rank only eighth in the NL in ERA, but much of Arizona's lineup left town in a slump. Justin Upton went 0-for-11 in the series with eight strikeouts, and cleanup hitter Conor Jackson went 0-for-9.

"We were coming through in clutch situations, and the last few games we haven't been doing that," second baseman Orlando Hudson said. "It ain't no fun."

Notes

  • On Friday the Marlins will add OF Jacque Jones to the roster. He signed with the team Monday and has been at extended spring training. He'll join the team for its weekend series against San Francisco. INF Robert Andino was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque.
  • Florida's Dan Uggla went 0-for-4, ending his 11-game hitting streak.
  • Haren walked none and has allowed only 10 walks in 63 2/3 innings this season.
 
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.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Andrew Miller strikes out nine, walks one and yields five hits over seven scoreless innings.  (US Presswire)
Andrew Miller strikes out nine, walks one and yields five hits over seven scoreless innings. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
Florida

A. Miller
IP 7.0
H 5
ER 0
BB 1
K 9
Florida

W. Helms
AB 1
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
 

Related Video

December 17, 2014
Fantasy Update: Kerwynn Williams (0:34)
December 16, 2014
La Canfora previews Seahawks at Cardinals
(3:43)
December 9, 2014
Fantasy Update: Larry Fitzgerald
(0:40)
December 19, 2014
Boomer and Carton's Week 16 NFL Picks
(4:10)

CBSSports.com Shop

Mens Chicago Cubs Nike Royal Blue Classic Pullover Hoodie

Free 3-Day Shipping over $100!
Use code 3DAY100
Get their favorite team gear
Shop Now

Arizona Diamondbacks
Chris Young, CF3000101 .243
Stephen Drew, SS4000033 .285
Orlando Hudson, 2B4020022 .303
Conor Jackson, 1B3000111 .291
Justin Upton, RF4000032 .296
Chris Snyder, C4010010 .270
Chris Burke, LF4010001 .190
Augie Ojeda, 3B4020001 .352
Dan Haren, P2010001 .143
    Chad Qualls, P0000000 .000
    Edgar Gonzalez, P0000000 .125
   a- Jeff Salazar, PH1000011 .261
Totals33070211  
a-struck out for E. Gonzalez in the 9th
Batting
2B - Chris Burke (3, Miller)
SH - Dan Haren (3)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Drew-Hudson-Jackson
Arizona Diamondbacks
Dan Haren (L,5-3) 6.1844080 3.39
Chad Qualls 0.2100000 2.66
Edgar Gonzalez 1000100 6.39
HBP - Hermida (by Chad Qualls)
Pitches-Strikes - Dan Haren 94-67, Chad Qualls 17-10, Edgar Gonzalez 11-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dan Haren 4-7, Chad Qualls 2-0, Edgar Gonzalez 1-1
Batters Faced - Dan Haren 27, Chad Qualls 4, Edgar Gonzalez 3
Florida Marlins
Hanley Ramirez, SS4110013 .303
Jeremy Hermida, RF3000002 .271
Jorge Cantu, 3B4012000 .264
Mike Jacobs, 1B4020012 .264
    Logan Kensing, P0000000 .000
    Justin Miller, P0000000 .000
Dan Uggla, 2B4000022 .315
Luis Gonzalez, LF3000111 .288
    Brett Carroll, PR-LF0000000 .067
Matt Treanor, C4110011 .286
Alfredo Amezaga, CF3130000 .256
Andrew Miller, P2000022 .118
   a- Wes Helms, PH-1B1112000 .233
Totals3249418  
a-doubled for Miller in the 7th
Batting
2B - Wes Helms (3, Haren)
3B - Hanley Ramirez (2, Haren), Alfredo Amezaga (2, Haren)
RBI - Jorge Cantu 2 (19), Wes Helms 2 (15)
2-OUT RBI - Jorge Cantu (9)
Team LOB - 6
Florida Marlins
Andrew Miller (W,4-3) 7500190 5.33
Logan Kensing 1100100 3.80
Justin Miller 1100020 3.75
Pitches-Strikes - Andrew Miller 107-64, Logan Kensing 22-10, Justin Miller 14-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andrew Miller 6-6, Logan Kensing 1-2
Batters Faced - Andrew Miller 27, Logan Kensing 5, Justin Miller 4
Game Information
Attendance - 13233
Game Time - 2:37
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Damien Beal, First Base - Dan Iassogna, Second Base - Dale Scott, Third Base - Bill Hohn