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Cantu helps Marlins win three-game series against Dodgers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MIAMI -- The Florida Marlins followed a familiar formula, mounting a comeback capped by Jorge Cantu.

For the second game in a row Sunday, Cantu helped Florida rally past the Los Angeles Dodgers. He tied a career high with five RBI and the Marlins won 6-5 in the rubber game of a three-game series.

Florida trailed 4-0 before Cantu hit a three-run homer in the fourth. He put the Marlins ahead 6-5 with a two-run double in the seventh.

"We're the kings of drama," Cantu said. "Everybody here is used to that."

Cantu's sacrifice fly capped a three-run rally in the ninth inning Saturday, when Florida beat Los Angeles 7-6.

"Two out of three the easy way," team owner Jeffrey Loria joked.

Since Fredi Gonzalez became manager in 2007, the Marlins have 128 come-from-behind wins, fourth-most in the majors.

"These guys battle," Gonzalez said. "It's just the makeup of the team -- we don't give up."

Two late comeback bids by the Dodgers fell short. Clay Hensley retired pinch-hitter Andre Ethier with runners at the corners to end the eighth. Leo Nunez gave up a walk and a single in the ninth, then struck out Matt Kemp and retired James Loney on a groundout for his second save in three tries.

Florida won with just five hits. Los Angeles had 11 hits but went 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position.

"It's frustrating when you get guys on base and you can't get them in," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "The players are far more frustrated than I am."

The Dodgers went 2-4 on their season-opening trip and play their home opener Tuesday against Arizona.

The Marlins have gone 2-1 in each of their first two series, thanks in large part to Cantu. Florida's cleanup hitter is batting .320 with 10 RBI. He has at least one RBI and hit in every game.

"I'm trying not to do too much," he said. "I'm seeing the ball very well."

Dodgers knuckleballer Charlie Haeger had a career-high 12 strikeouts in six innings and allowed only three hits, but one was Cantu's homer. Haeger walked four, and two other Marlins reached base when strike three was a wild pitch.

Jeff Weaver (0-1) gave up a run for the first time in five appearances this season. Chris Coghlan singled off him to start the seventh, and after Hanley Ramirez walked, Cantu doubled.

"Hitting behind Hanley, Cantu is going to get a lot of opportunities," Gonzalez said. "And he always seems to come through."

A dropped fly by Kemp in center field led to an unearned run in the sixth, which scored on Cody Ross' two-out single.

"When it it's the glove, you've got to catch it," Kemp said. "That was a bad time to make an error."

Hensley (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings for his first win since July 21, 2008. Florida's Anibal Sanchez made his first start of the season and allowed five runs, four earned, in six innings.

The Marlins won despite some sloppy moments. They came into the game last in the majors in fielding and committed two errors to increase their season total to 10.

Florida center fielder Cameron Maybin was picked off first and had a two-base error that let two runs score, and right fielder Ross dropped a fly for an error that led to another run.

"It was ugly at times," Ross said. "Good teams overcome that, but we can't keep playing like this, or it's not going to be good in the long term."

Haeger struck out seven of the first 10 batters, but he walked Maybin and Ramirez to start the fourth, and Cantu hit his second homer of the year to cut the Dodgers' lead to 4-3.

"The pitch that Cantu hit was a good knuckleball," Haeger said. "He's a good hitter. Obviously that was a turning point."

Notes

  • Ethier (ankle) missed his fourth consecutive start. He's expected to rejoin the lineup for the team's home opener Tuesday against Arizona.
  • Dodgers LF Manny Ramirez, 3B Casey Blake and C Russell Martin also were given the day off, although Martin entered the game in the eighth.
  • Marlins president David Samson says the team will play more day games in the new ballpark scheduled to open in 2012.
  • Sanchez ended an 0-for-43 slump when he singled for his first hit since April 27, 2007.
 
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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Jorge Cantu carries the Marlins to victory by tying a career-high with five RBI, including a three-run HR.  (AP)
Jorge Cantu carries the Marlins to victory by tying a career-high with five RBI, including a three-run HR. (AP)

Players of the Game
Florida

J. Cantu
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 5
Los Angeles

R. Johnson
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Los Angeles Dodgers
Rafael Furcal, SS5000022 .308
Garret Anderson, LF5010021 .250
Matt Kemp, CF5120022 .321
James Loney, 1B5120002 .207
Ronnie Belliard, 3B4230001 .500
Blake DeWitt, 2B4010013 .267
Reed Johnson, RF4121001 .385
A.J. Ellis, C0002100 .000
   a- Andre Ethier, PH1000002 .300
    Ramon Troncoso, P0000000 .000
Charlie Haeger, P2000022 .000
    Jeff Weaver, P0000000 .000
    Russell Martin, C0000100 .364
Totals35511329  
a-grounded out for Ellis in the 8th
Batting
3B - Reed Johnson (1, Sanchez)
SF - A.J. Ellis (1)
SH - A.J. Ellis (1), Charlie Haeger (1)
RBI - Reed Johnson (1), A.J. Ellis 2 (2)
SB - Reed Johnson (1, 2nd base off Sanchez/Paulino)
CS - Matt Kemp (1, 2nd base by Hensley/Paulino)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
E - Matt Kemp (1, Dropped fly)
Los Angeles Dodgers
Charlie Haeger 63434121 4.50
Jeff Weaver (BS,1; L,0-1) 1222110 6.00
Ramon Troncoso 1000000 2.25
WP - Charlie Haeger 3 (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Charlie Haeger 116-67, Jeff Weaver 22-13, Ramon Troncoso 16-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Charlie Haeger 5-3, Jeff Weaver 1-1, Ramon Troncoso 2-1
Batters Faced - Charlie Haeger 27, Jeff Weaver 6, Ramon Troncoso 3
Florida Marlins
Chris Coghlan, LF4010031 .185
Cameron Maybin, CF3200121 .250
Hanley Ramirez, SS2200201 .333
Jorge Cantu, 3B-1B4125010 .320
Dan Uggla, 2B4000021 .208
Ronny Paulino, C4100021 .286
Cody Ross, RF4011021 .250
Gaby Sanchez, 1B2000210 .316
    Leo Nunez, P0000000 .000
Anibal Sanchez, P2010002 .500
   a- Mike Lamb, PH1000002 .000
    Clay Hensley, P0000000 .000
   b- Wes Helms, PH-3B1000000 .400
Totals31656513  
a-grounded out for Sanchez in the 6th
b-grounded out for Hensley in the 8th
Batting
2B - Jorge Cantu (4, Weaver)
HR - Jorge Cantu (2, Haeger)
RBI - Jorge Cantu 5 (10), Cody Ross (1)
2-OUT RBI - Cody Ross (1)
SB - Cameron Maybin (1, 2nd base off Weaver/Ellis)
PK - Cameron Maybin (1, Haeger)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Cameron Maybin (1, Misplayed grounder), Cody Ross (1, Dropped fly)
Florida Marlins
Anibal Sanchez 6754150 6.00
Clay Hensley (W,1-0) 2300020 3.00
Leo Nunez (S,2) 1100120 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Anibal Sanchez 89-59, Clay Hensley 29-20, Leo Nunez 21-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Anibal Sanchez 5-9, Clay Hensley 1-2, Leo Nunez 1-0
Batters Faced - Anibal Sanchez 27, Clay Hensley 8, Leo Nunez 5
Game Information
Attendance - 18758
Game Time - 2:52
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Mike Winters, First Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Second Base - Dan Bellino, Third Base - Jerry Layne