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Marlins Beat Giants In 9th


What would have been a triumphant South Florida return for Livan Hernandez turned into San Francisco's bitterest loss yet this season.

Mike Lowell hit his first career grand slam and Dave Berg's RBI single drove home the winning run in the ninth inning as the Florida Marlins rallied from a four-run, eighth-inning deficit to beat the Giants 5-4 Monday night.

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Game Summary

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  • Hernandez, the 1997 World Series MVP, had been traded from the Marlins to San Francisco 16 days earlier for a pair of minor league pitchers. He shut out his former teammates through seven innings, but could not escape the eighth.

    "That's tough for Livan," Giants first baseman J.T. Snow said. "There was so much on his mind and he was doing so well. When you come back and face your former team, especially one that traded you, you want to do well."

    Alex Gonzalez opened the eighth with a single, then Hernandez got two outs before allowing a single to Mark Kotsay and a walk to Todd Dunwoody. He left to cheers from the South Florida fans, tipping his cap in return.

    John Johnstone (4-5) relieved, and Lowell ripped a 3-1 pitch over the left-field scoreboard for his sixth homer of the season.

    "We went from Livan shutting us out to, `My goodness, we're tied,"' Marlins manager John Boles said. "It was exhilarating."

    Lowell, a rookie, called the blast "the top of my career for now. We were being dominated and one swing turned it around."

    The Mrlins then won it in the ninth. Preston Wilson opened with a double and Luis Castillo followed with a bunt that Johnstone appeared ready to field. But third baseman Bill Mueller knocked Johnstone over, allowing Castillo to reach on a single as Wilson took third.

    Berg followed with a lazy fly to left-center, driving center fielder Marvin Benard back from his shallow position. He dropped the ball, but it was scored a single as Wilson trotted home for the Marlins' fourth straight win.

    "It hurts to go from a shutout to a loss like that, you know?" Giants manager Dusty Baker said, his voice barely audible in a quiet clubhouse.

    Jesus Sanchez (3-4) got two outs for the win, getting Mueller to fly out with the bases loaded to end the ninth.

    Hernandez, who cried the day he learned he had been traded, was greeted with a 30-second ovation as he took the mound in the first inning. About half of the crowd of 10,768 stood up.

    The Cuban right-hander gave up three runs and eight hits in 7 2-3 innings, striking out four and walking two. He threw 141 pitches, and Baker was kicking himself afterward for letting Hernandez talk him into pitching the eighth.

    "Usually I don't let that happen," Baker said. "It's not his fault. It's my fault."

    Hernandez showered and dressed quickly after the game, ignoring several reporters as he walked to his sport-utility vehicle in the parking lot. He talked on a cellular phone for several minutes, then drove away.

    "It hurts more because Livan came back here and threw a great game," Johnstone said. "I just didn't get the job done. This one's going to hurt a little bit."

    The Giants banged out 12 hits off six Florida pitchers, led by Ramon Martinez and Scott Servais with three hits apiece.

    San Francisco took a 1-0 lead in the third against knuckleballer Dennis Springer. Servais singled on a roller that hit the first-base bag and bounced away, was sacrificed to second and scored when Benard's liner bounced into the seats for a ground-rule double.

    Martinez pushed the advantage to 3-0 in the fifth with a two-run double, a shot off the left-field clock that scored Hernandez and Benard.

    The Giants added another run against reliever Braden Looper in the seventh when Servais scored on a fielding error bfirst baseman Kevin Millar.

    Notes

  • RHP Brad Penny, acquired from Arizona in the Matt Mantei trade, made his Marlins organizational debut a memorable one Sunday when he helped pitch a no-hitter for Double-A Portland. Penny went six hitless innings against Trenton, striking out five, and Luis Arroyo went the final three innings in a 3-0 win. It was the seventh no-hitter for the Marlins organization, including two at the major-league level by Al Leiter in 1996 and Kevin Brown in 1997.
  • Marlins OF Todd Dunwoody started in center field, his first appearance since being recalled from Triple-A Calgary on Saturday. Dunwoody was Florida's opening-day center fielder, but was sent down May 20 after hitting just .214.
  • After the game, the Giants sent IF Edwards Guzman to Triple-A Fresno and recalled C Doug Mirabelli from Fresno.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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