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Lowell Hits Fish To Giant Win


Trailing again by four runs, the Florida Marlins had the San Francisco Giants right where they wanted them.

Florida overcame a four-run deficit for the third consecutive game against slumping San Francisco, and Mike Lowell singled home the winning run with one out in the 10th inning for a 6-5 victory Wednesday.

Lowell also hit a pinch three-run homer against Shawn Estes in the sixth inning to start Florida's comeback from a 5-1 deficit.

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Game Summary

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  • "Those guys are playing with a horseshoe in their pockets," Estes said. "This is the low point of the year getting swept by the Marlins. We probably should have won all three games."

    The Marlins, who have won six in a row, completed their second consecutive series sweep. They took three in a row from Colorado last weekend.

    In contrast, the Giants completed a 3-9 trip. The loss dropped them a season-worst 7@1/2 games behind division-leading Arizona in the NL West.

    "I'm glad we have an off day Thursday," manager Dusty Baker said. "We're heading home, and this nightmare trip is over."

    The Giants squandered leads of 4-0 Monday and 6-2 Tuesday before Wednesday's stunner.

    "It's impossible to believe it happened, because their bullpen has been shutting people down all year," Florida manager John Boles said. "Baseball is the greatest game because anything can and does happen."

    Chris Clapinski walked to start the 10th, stole second and took third on a sacrifice. He came home when Lowell pulled an 0-1 pitch down the left-field line against Robb Nen (3-6).

    "We're in a bad funk, and somethng has to change," Nen said. "We're not playing real well, and I'm not pitching well."

    Lowell, who hit a grand slam to spark Monday's comeback, became a hero for the second time in the series.

    "It's a good feeling," he said. "We could have packed it in, but we didn't."

    Florida tied it in the ninth with an unearned run against Nen, who blew a save opportunity for the seventh time. Bruce Aven led off with an infield single, took second on a passed ball by Brent Mayne and scored on Todd Dunwoody's two-out single.

    "Dunwoody against Nen is usually a guaranteed out," Estes said.

    Jesus Sanchez (4-4) pitched two scoreless innings. Florida's bullpen has allowed one run in the past 18 innings.

    The Marlins' Alex Fernandez took a 1-0 lead into the sixth, then wilted in the 90-degree sunshine. The Giants took advantage of three walks and two errors to score five runs in the inning.

    Marvin Benard led off with a single, and Fernandez made an errant throw to first on a sacrifice bunt to put runners at second and third. Walks to J.T. Snow and Barry Bonds made the score 1-1. Stan Javier broke the tie with a two-run single, Mayne walked and Rich Aurilia added another two-run single for a 5-1 lead.

    For Fernandez, the inning ended a stretch where he allowed just one run in 20 innings. He may receive a cortisone shot in his pitcher shoulder Thursday, which would force him to miss a start.

    Fernandez gave up five hits and five runs, four earned. He departed after six innings to watch his teammates' latest comeback.

    "It's great. It's fun," Fernandez said. "Guys are believing in themselves. When you win, you have fun."

    Notes

  • Giants second baseman Ramon Martinez left in the seventh inning with tightness in his right hamstring.
  • The 1:05 p.m. start on getaway day for the Giants was the Marlins' earliest at home since May 5.
  • San Francisco's Ellis Burks went 16-for-36 (.444) on the trip.
  • Giants pinch hitters are batting .200 (28-for-140).
  • The Marlins are batting .313 (20-for-64) with the bases loaded.
  • Florida has a team-record seven pinch homers

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