Astros 5, Marlins 4

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 14, 2012
Carlos Lee drove in the tying run with a two-out single in the ninth inning, and an error by left fielder Logan Morrison allowed the go-ahead run to score Saturday night as the Houston Astros rallied to beat closer Heath Bell and the Miami Marlins 5-4. Bell, one of the Marlins' All-Star acquisitions this offseason, took the mound with a 4-1 lead to start the ninth but had a shaky performance for the third time in as many outings this season. The Astros had four hits in the inning and scored four times, taking advantage of three Miami errors. The last miscue was by Morrison, who misjudged a slicing fly hit by Brian Bogusevic. Morrison staggered and fell as he tried to catch it, and the ball glanced off the heel of his glove, allowing a runner to score from third. To make the loss more embarrassing for the Marlins, celebratory fireworks began going off beyond the left-field wall when the home team led 4-2 but was still two outs from victory. Rhiner Cruz (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings. Brett Myers followed with a perfect ninth for his second save. Bell (0-2), booed when he departed after retiring only two of the seven batters he faced, blew a save for the second time in as many chances. Jose Altuve doubled with one out in the ninth to start Houston's comeback. Pinch-hitter Travis Buck singled home a run, and Jordan Schafer reached on catcher's interference. With two outs, J.D. Martinez hit an RBI single. Lee followed with a tying single on the first pitch. The rally cost Carlos Zambrano his first win for the Marlins. He overcame six walks in six innings and allowed only one run. Houston starter Bud Norris gave up four runs in six innings. The Astros, last in the majors in 2011 with a 25-56 road record, improved to 1-1 on their first trip of the year and won in Miami for the first time since 2010. Announced attendance in the Marlins' new 36,442-seat ballpark was 31,659, but for the second consecutive night there were about 10,000 empty seats. Fans are still waiting to see the animated home run sculpture in action, because the Marlins have yet to homer at home through three games. Hitters are beginning to grumble that the fences are tough to reach, and that was again the case. With the retractable roof open, Hanley Ramirez hit a 400-foot flyout to center in the first inning. Houston's Jed Lowrie had a warning-track flyout in the third - the fifth in the series for the two teams. Zambrano walked Schafer three times and Martinez twice, but he stranded seven runners in the first four innings, and others were erased on the bases. The Marlins scored three times on the third. Ramirez, who was off to a 4-for-31 start, put the Marlins ahead with an RBI single. Morrison followed with a sacrifice fly, and a run-scoring single by Gaby Sanchez made it 4-1. Morrison had a two-out RBI single in the first. In the first three innings, Zambrano walked five, but the lone run scored on a first-inning single by Lee. NOTES: Omar Infante, tied for the NL lead in total bases, sat out with a sore groin but might return Sunday. ... For Astros broadcaster Milo Hamilton, Marlins Park is the 59th major league stadium from which he has worked. ... Lee made a leaping catch of a liner at first to rob Donnie Murphy of an RBI single in the third. ... Norris has an ERA of 6.51 in five career starts against the Marlins.
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