Sports

Marlins Win It In Ninth

The game began with Kevin Brown on the mound and ended with Edgar Renteria at the plate, which suited the Florida Marlins just fine.

Postseason play brought out the best in the Marlins, who beat the San Francisco Giants 2-1 Tuesday in the opener of their best-of-5 N.L. division series.

Giant-killer Brown pitched seven strong innings, retiring the first 14 batters, and Renteria drove in the winning run with a two-out, bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth.

After the game-ending hit, Renteria’s fifth this year, jubilant teammates carried the 21-year-old shortstop off the field.

“He’s unflappable up there,” first baseman Jeff Conine said. “It’s unbelievable for a guy that young to have that kind of composure in those situations. I don’t think we’d be here without him.”

The score was tied at 1 when Conine, the only Marlins starter who has been with the team since its first game in 1993, began the ninth with a single against Julian Tavarez. Charles Johnson was hit by a pitch attempting to bunt.

After Roberto Hernandez relieved Tavarez, Craig Counsell advanced both runners with a two-strike sacrifice, and Jim Eisenreich was intentionally walked to load the bases.

Devon White grounded into a forceout at the plate before Renteria singled to the opposite field on a 2-1 pitch.

“I’ve been in that situation many times before,” Renteria said. “I go up there and just hope I can put the ball in play. A lot of times, that’s all that’s necessary.”

It was the Marlins’ 25th win in their final at-bat, most in the majors. Their 52-29 record at home this season was also baseball’s best.

Brown and Kirk Rueter dueled for six scoreless innings, then departed after seven with the game 1-all.

Giants slugger Barry Bonds went 1 for 4 with a double, raising his lifetime postseason average to .194. He flied out to end the top of the ninth.

Game 2 is today, with Al Leiter pitching against Giants’ ace Shawn Estes.

“It’s tough to lose the first game,” San Francisco manager Dusty Baker said, “but we’re coming back with our best Wednesday.”

MEMO: Marlins 2, Giants 1 San Fran Florida ab r h bi ab r h bi DHmtn cf 4 0 0 0 DWhite cf 5 0 0 0 Mueller 3b 4 1 1 1 Rnteria ss 5 0 2 1 Bonds lf 4 0 1 0 Shffield rf 2 0 1 0 Snow 1b 3 0 0 0 Bonilla 3b 3 0 1 0 Kent 2b 3 0 0 0 Alou lf 4 0 0 0 Javier rf 3 0 1 0 Conine 1b 4 0 1 0 Vzcaino ss 3 0 0 0 CJhnsn c 3 2 1 1 BJhnsn c 3 0 0 0 Cunsell 2b 2 0 1 0 Rueter p 2 0 1 0 KJBwn p 2 0 0 0 GHill ph 1 0 0 0 Abbott ph 1 0 0 0 Tvarez p 0 0 0 0 Cook p 0 0 0 0 RHrndz p 0 0 0 0 Esnrich ph 0 0 0 0 Totals 30 1 4 1 Totals 31 2 7 2 San Fran 000 000 100 - 1 Florida 000 000 101 - 2 Two outs when winning run scored. DP-San Francisco 1. LOB-San Francisco 2, Florida 10. 2B-Bonds (1), Sheffield (1). HR-Mueller (1), CJohnson (1). CS-Javier (1). S-Counsell. San Fran IP H R ER BB SO Rueter 7 4 1 1 3 5 Tavarez L,0-1 1 2 1 1 1 0 RHernandez 2/3 1 0 0 1 0 Florida IP H R ER BB SO KJBrown 7 4 1 1 0 5 Cook W,1-0 2 0 0 0 0 3 Tavarez pitched to 2 batters in the 9th. HBP-by Tavarez (CJohnson). T-2:48. A-42,167 (41,855).

Marlins 2, Giants 1 San Fran Florida ab r h bi ab r h bi DHmtn cf 4 0 0 0 DWhite cf 5 0 0 0 Mueller 3b 4 1 1 1 Rnteria ss 5 0 2 1 Bonds lf 4 0 1 0 Shffield rf 2 0 1 0 Snow 1b 3 0 0 0 Bonilla 3b 3 0 1 0 Kent 2b 3 0 0 0 Alou lf 4 0 0 0 Javier rf 3 0 1 0 Conine 1b 4 0 1 0 Vzcaino ss 3 0 0 0 CJhnsn c 3 2 1 1 BJhnsn c 3 0 0 0 Cunsell 2b 2 0 1 0 Rueter p 2 0 1 0 KJBwn p 2 0 0 0 GHill ph 1 0 0 0 Abbott ph 1 0 0 0 Tvarez p 0 0 0 0 Cook p 0 0 0 0 RHrndz p 0 0 0 0 Esnrich ph 0 0 0 0 Totals 30 1 4 1 Totals 31 2 7 2 San Fran 000 000 100 - 1 Florida 000 000 101 - 2 Two outs when winning run scored. DP-San Francisco 1. LOB-San Francisco 2, Florida 10. 2B-Bonds (1), Sheffield (1). HR-Mueller (1), CJohnson (1). CS-Javier (1). S-Counsell. San Fran IP H R ER BB SO Rueter 7 4 1 1 3 5 Tavarez L,0-1 1 2 1 1 1 0 RHernandez 2/3 1 0 0 1 0 Florida IP H R ER BB SO KJBrown 7 4 1 1 0 5 Cook W,1-0 2 0 0 0 0 3 Tavarez pitched to 2 batters in the 9th. HBP-by Tavarez (CJohnson). T-2:48. A-42,167 (41,855).



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