Infante's 2 homers lifts Marlins over Pirates
PITTSBURGH – The Florida Marlins had a good time with a rare offensive outburst.
Omar Infante and Logan Morrison both homered during a nine-run third inning and the Marlins pounded out 22 hits in a 13-4 rout of the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night.
Infante drove in five runs, adding a solo shot in the first, while Morrison had four hits and three RBIs. The Marlins had a club-record 10 hits in the third. Morrison and Bryan Petersen each had two hits in the inning as Florida broke the record of nine, which had been done four times, most recently on Sept. 17, 2001, at Montreal.
The 13 runs tied a season high, set July 16 against the Cubs at Chicago. The Marlins beat the Pirates for the 12th time in the last 14 meetings.
"I'm pretty sure this happens every week for the Yankees and the Red Sox, but it doesn't for us," Morrison said. "It was a lot of fun."
And it certainly made for a good start to the Marlins' 11-game, 10-day road trip.
"I was thinking let's save some runs for the rest of trip," said manager Jack McKeon, whose team entered the day 11th in the NL in runs scored. "They came out swinging, I'll tell you that."
Infante got an assist on his three-run homer in the third when it bounced off the glove of left fielder Alex Presley, who was on the warning track, and into the bleachers.
"It was a freak thing and I really don't have an explanation for it," Presley said. "I should catch it in my mind. It happened. Hopefully not again, though."
The homer stretched the Marlins' lead to 9-1.
"(Infante) lit the fire when he hit the three-run homer," McKeon said. "I thought we were in pretty good shape then."
Petersen, Emilio Bonifacio, Gaby Sanchez, Donnie Murphy, John Buck and winning pitcher Ricky Nolasco (10-10) all finished with two hits for the Marlins.
Ross Ohlendorf (0-2) had his string of winless starts reach 15 as he was rocked for six runs on 10 hits in two-plus innings. He needed 54 pitches to record six outs.
"Almost all of the hits came off fastballs," Ohlendorf said. "Stuff-wise, I wasn't real great but location was the main thing, especially in the third inning. They were just very hittable pitches in terms of being up in the zone and in the middle of the plate, too."
Pedro Ciriaco had two hits and two RBIs for the Pirates. Presley and Ryan Doumit also had two hits apiece.
Nolasco's streak of 22 scoreless innings against the Pirates ended in the second inning when Doumit doubled and scored on Ciriaco's single to draw Pittsburgh within 2-1. Florida then countered with its big third to put away the game.
"It's good to get that kind of support because you can just go out, feed strikes, get guys out and get our guys back in the dugout as quickly as possible," Nolasco said.
Florida's third inning came with a downside, though, as both right fielder Mike Stanton and first baseman Jose Lopez strained right hamstrings while running out hits and were forced to leave the game. Stanton, who has been bothered by hamstring stiffness since spring training, was making his first start since Sept. 3.
Stanton said he was fine and could have stayed in the gamer but McKeon said, "If he's OK, then that effort wasn't acceptable. I didn't want to take the chance to hurt people. If I did that, the Humane Society would be after me."
Stanton countered by saying, "That's the speed I have right now."
Morrison, the left fielder, was shaken up when he slid into the side wall to catch Garrett Jones' fly ball in the eighth inning but stayed in the game.
"I think we had as much damage done to us as we did to (Pittsburgh)," Morrison, alluding to the injuries.
Ohlendorf has not won since July 2, 2010, against Philadelphia and is tied with Cincinnati's Dontrelle Willis for the longest active winless streak. Ohlendorf has been limited to six starts this season because of shoulder problems.
Florida took a 2-0 lead against Ohlendorf as Infante hit a solo home run down the left-field line in the first and doubled home Nolasco, who had singled, in the second.
The Marlins' big third inning was started by Stanton, who singled. Murphy pinch ran, went to third on Morrison's double and scored on a throwing error by right fielder Ryan Ludwick.
Lopez, Buck, Petersen and Nolasco followed with consecutive singles, with Lopez's and Nolasco's driving in runs. Bonifacio then hit a sacrifice fly, Infante hit his defense-aided, three-run blast and Morrison added his his two-run homer.
Florida made it 13-1 in the fifth as Murphy tripled and scored on Morrison's single before Buck hit a run-scoring single.
Notes: Florida CF Mike Cameron missed his second straight game with tightness in his right hamstring and said he did not anticipate returning to the lineup any time soon. ... Pittsburgh RHP Jeff Karstens will return to the rotation Tuesday against St. Louis after missing two starts because of shoulder fatigue. ... Pirates LHP Jeff Locke will make his major league debut Saturday night when he faces RHP Anibal Sanchez (7-7, 3.83) in the middle game of the three-game series. Locke, 23, was a combined 8-10 with a 3.70 ERA in 28 games with Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis. Though Sanchez has struck out a career-high 173 batters in 171 1-3 innings this season, he has only one win in his last 15 starts. Five Pittsburgh prospects have joined the club for the weekend but won't be placed on the active roster: Indianapolis LHP Justin Wilson, 1B Matt Hague and OF Gorkys Hernandez and Altoona RHPs Kyle McPherson and Bryan Morris.