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Brewers Escape Marlins' Grasp

The Florida Marlins muffed an inning-ending double play and it cost them the game.

Darrin Jackson scored the go-ahead run in the eighth on throwing error Sunday as the Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Marlins 7-6 for their fifth consecutive win.

Reliever Antonio Alfonseca (0-2), just up from the minors, hit Jackson to start the eighth. After a sacrifice bunt by Eric Owens and walk by pinch-hitter Jeromy Burnitz, the Marlins were looking for a double play to get out of the inning.

They got their chance when Fernando Vina slapped a hard, one-bounce liner to first baseman Derrek Lee.

Lee threw to shortstop David Berg who was covering second to easily force Burnitz, but Berg's throw back to first sailed wide of the bag and allowed Jackson to score the winning run.

Alfonseca was late covering first, which left Florida manager Jim Leyland fuming.

"It wasn't Derrek's fault," Leyland said after the Brewers completed a sweep of the three-game series. "It's a play you work on in spring training. The pitcher has got to get over there.

"Bergy tried to hit him on the run and that's what happens. It's a tough double play, but you have to be there."

The Marlins' miscue allowed the Brewers to escape with the narrow victory.

Milwaukee starter Scott Karl blew a 6-2 second-inning lead as the Marlins chipped away with a run on Todd Zeile's groundout in the third and two more in the fourth on RBI singles by pinch hitter Ryan Jackson and Berg.

Karl, who left after allowing 11 hits and one walk in six innings, admitted it was a bad outing.

"It was a combination of some bad luck and bad pitching," he said after his ERA went from 3.69 to 4.12. "The important thing is that the team pulled through with the win."

The Brewers scored five runs in the second off starter Jesus Sanchez, but only one was earned, to stake Karl to a comfortable lead.

Marc Newfield reached on third baseman Zeile's fielding error before Mike Matheny drove a 1-0 pitch into the left-field seats that gave Milwaukee a 3-2 lead.

Owens doubled off Ziele's glove and Karl reached when Sanchez misplayed a chopper back to the mound.

Vina doubled in Owens and Mark Loretta followed with a two-run double for a four-run cushion.

"We had the big inning when they made a couple of mistakes and we put five runs on the board," Brewers manager Phil Garner said. "But, they just kept chipping away at us.

"The next thing you know we have a tie ball game, but we did a pretty good job against a pretty good reliever (Alfonseca)."

Brad Woodall (2-2) pitched two shutout innings for the win and Bob Wickman pitched the ninth for his second save.

Florida rookie catcher Mike Redmond celebrated his first majo league start with three hits, including the solo homer off Karl that tied the game at 6 in the sixth inning.

"I'm still pretty much in shock," said Redmond who was called up from Triple A Charlotte on May 22. "I guess everybody dreams about a day like this. I wanted to get the win more than get three hits, but I'm happy."

Two of the six runs Sanchez allowed were earned. He gave up six hits before Matt Mantei took over to start the fourth. Mantei pitched three scoreless innings before giving way to Alfonseca in the seventh.

Cliff Floyd gave the Marlins an early lead with a two-run single in the first, but in the bottom of the inning, Jeff Cirillo's fifth home run made it 2-1.

Notes: The Marlins had activated Alfonseca (0-1, 6.00 ERA in 18 games) from the 15-day disabled list before the game and optioned right-hander Andy Larkin (2-5, 7.79 ERA in 10 games) to the Charlotte Knights, the club's Triple-A affiliate. ... Redmond singled on the first pitch from Karl in his first at bat. ... The first 12,000 fans 14 and under received a tan Beanie Baby named Batty and a baseball card featuring the little bat-like critter as part of a Brewers' promotion. ... The Marlins have lost five straight games and are 0-7 against the Brewers this season.

©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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