<
>

Easley's two-run double lifts Marlins

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Damion Easley isn't used to success as a pinch
hitter.

Luis Castillo tied the score with a ninth-inning single, and
Easley hit a two-run, pinch-hit double in the 10th inning that led
the Florida Marlins over the Milwaukee Brewers 5-3.

Easley was 1-for-40 in his career as a pinch hitter (.043)
before he sent reliever Ben Hendrickson's pitch down the
right-field line.

"I managed to get good enough wood on it, and things worked
out," Easley said. "This was huge because we need to come off
this trip with more wins than losses. And it's not going to get any
easier."

Doug Davis pitched seven shutout innings for Milwaukee, which
took a 3-0 lead against World Series MVP Josh Beckett before Miguel
Cabrera homered off Matt Wise in the eighth.

Alex Gonzalez reached on an error by second baseman Bill Hall
leading off the ninth. Juan Pierre stopped an 0-for-18 slide with a
one-out RBI triple off Dan Kolb and Castillo bounced a single over
a drawn-in infield.

Hendrickson (0-5), a starter brought up from Triple-A
Indianapolis before the game, walked Juan Encarnacion with two outs
in the 10th, then allowed a single to Alex Gonzalez and the double
to Easley, who was batting for Rudy Seanez (1-0).

"What are you going to do?" Davis said. "A double down the
line that barely made it down the line -- it was not like he came
out and got raked. It's just a learning experience."

Hendrickson, who arrived in Milwaukee about two hours before the
game, said it was the first time he has relieved since high school.

"The adrenaline took over once I got out there," he said. "I
left a couple of curveballs up, and they just took advantage of
them."

Armando Benitez pitched a perfect 10th, striking out two, for
his 34th save in 37 chances.

Kolb, who entered in the eighth, was trying for his first
multi-inning save this season. He has blown three saves in 36
chances.

Beckett, 0-4 in seven starts since beating Houston on May 20,
allowed three runs and six hits in six innings. Beckett, who has
been on the disabled list three times this year, struck out five
and walked three.

Davis tied his career high with nine strikeouts and allowed five
hits. He was trying for his 11th win, which would match his high in
a season.

Russell Branyan homered on Beckett's first pitch of the second
inning, a 458-foot drive to center that hit just below the "5"
inning marker on the scoreboard. It was the fourth-longest homer in
Miller Park history. Branyan also has the longest, a 480-footer off
Chicago's Greg Maddux on July 27.

"He's more comfortable right now," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost
said. "Guys like that, every once in a while they just find it and
get in a good groove."

Hall hit an RBI single with two outs in the fourth. Branyan, who
has four homers in 33 at-bats with the Brewers, doubled to lead off
the sixth, took third on a throwing error by Encarnacion in right
and scored on Geoff Jenkins' single.

Florida moved to .500 (58-58) and is 4½ games back in the
wild-card card.

"We're still in this thing," Florida manager Jack McKeon said.

Milwaukee has not won a series since sweeping the Chicago Cubs
July 5-7. The Brewers last beat the Marlins in series in April
2000.

"Not to take anything away from Milwaukee, but they are a team
you have to beat," Pierre said.

Game notes
Florida is a major-league best 22-12 in day games. ...
Milwaukee optioned LHP Jorge de la Rosa to Triple-A Indianapolis
before the game to make room for Hendrickson. De la Rosa made his
major league debut Saturday night against the Marlins, giving up
four runs and six hits in five innings. ... LHP Mike Kusiewicz, a
Class A pitcher for Milwaukee, is on Canada's Olympic team.