MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A team meeting helped put the Florida Marlins'
offense back on track, at least for now.
The Marlins used a seven-run ninth inning -- highlighted by Jeff
Conine's third grand slam of the season -- to rout the Milwaukee
Brewers 11-1 on Saturday night.
"We just haven't been able to do that on a consistent basis,"
Florida manager Jack McKeon said. "Hopefully the boys got the
message to go out and do some things differently."
Florida had lost four of five games and had scored a total of
five runs in those losses.
Dontrelle Willis (9-8) gave up one run and seven hits in seven
strong innings. He struck out six and walked one for his second win
in six starts since the All-Star break.
Florida had lost six of its last seven road games.
Top Brewers prospect Jorge de la Rosa (0-1) made his first
career start and gave up four runs and six hits in five innings,
walking two and striking out none.
The Marlins put the game away with their seven-run ninth. Chris
Aguila tripled to lead off the inning and scored on a single by
Alex Gonzalez. Lenny Harris followed with a pinch-hit single. After
Juan Pierre grounded out, the Brewers intentionally walked Luis
Castillo. Lo Duca then ripped a two-run single to center.
After Cabrera grounded into a fielder's choice, Mike Lowell
walked to load the bases.
Conine, 3-for-4, followed with a 375-foot blast to left-center
off Luis Vizcaino that just eluded the glove of a leaping Geoff
It was his eighth career slam, and second this season against
Florida remains one game under .500 (57-58).
"Time's running out," Conine said. "We're behind. We've got
to put together a good run here to get close. That's why you have
meetings. You have to motivate players. It worked today."
De la Rosa got off to a shaky start, walking one and throwing
two wild pitches in a two-run first inning for the Marlins. With
one out, de la Rosa walked Castillo, who went to second on a single
by Lo Duca. Castillo advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored
on another wild pitch one pitch later. Cabrera drove in Lo Duca
with a sacrifice fly.
Florida added two runs in the fifth. Gonzalez singled to lead
off the inning and scored on Castillo's two-out double. Cabrera
drove in Castillo with an RBI single.
De la Rosa, speaking through interpreter Bill Castro, the
Brewers' bullpen coach, said it took the first inning for him to
get used to the grip of the major league baseball and get over
He labeled his performance "so-so."
"For his major league debut, I thought he did all right," Yost
said. "He battled. His command was fairly good after the first
inning. After that, he kind of rolled right along -- until the
Milwaukee dropped to 9-20 since the All-Star break, and Yost
kept left-handed hitters Jenkins, Lyle Overbay and Russell Branyan,
the team's top three power threats, out of the starting lineup with
Willis on the mound. Chris Magruder, Wes Helms and Trent Durrington
replaced them in the lineup, respectively.
Helms had two hits, including an RBI double with no outs in the
seventh, as Milwaukee cut the lead to 4-1. He was stranded at
The Brewers went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
Willis stranded seven of those runners.
"The key hits aren't coming," Durrington said.
Conine's three grand slams this season leads the NL and
ties him with Bobby Bonilla for the club record. ... A line drive
by second baseman Bill Hall hit Willis in the pitching hand in the
fourth, but he stayed in after being looked at by the Marlins
training staff. Willis then picked off Hall before throwing another
pitch. ... Saturday's announced crowd of 40,213 -- for Jim Gantner
bobblehead night -- marked the 11th time Milwaukee has reached the
40,000 mark at Miller Park this season. Last year, the Brewers drew
more than 40,000 fans just four times.