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Zach Duke Loses In Likely Last Game With Pirates

Sports Network | September 30, 2010


Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Mike Stanton homered and drove in five runs as Florida stormed to a big early lead before holding off a late rally to down Pittsburgh, 11-9, in the opener of the regular season-concluding four-game series.

Stanton finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored while Logan Morrison went 3-for-4 with a walk, three runs scored and a run batted in for the Marlins, who have taken four of five from the Pirates in the season series.

Chris Volstad (12-9) was the beneficiary of all the offense, going six innings and yielding two runs on six hits while walking one and striking out two to close his campaign with six straight winning decisions.

The Marlins returned home after finishing their last road trip, losing six out of seven.

Zach Duke (8-15) had his season end on a sour note as he was pounded for nine runs -- four earned -- on eight hits and three walks while striking out only one over four frames for the Pirates, who dropped to an unsightly 16-62 away from home.

Pedro Alvarez had his first career four-hit game, going 4-for-5 and knocking in five, in a losing cause for the Buccos, who have dropped three of their last four.

Trailing 11-6 going into the ninth, the Pirates put two runners on against Jose Veras for Alvarez, who crushed a three-run homer to right to slice a one- time eight-run deficit down to two.

Leo Nunez replaced Veras and struck out John Bowker and Alex Presley to end the game and earn his 30th save of the season.

The Marlins opened their final home series with a flourish, plating four runs in the first inning. Emilio Bonifacio legged out an infield hit to start the frame, stole second and scored on a Morrison single.

Dan Uggla kept the inning going with a one-out walk and, after Gaby Sanchez flied out, Stanton singled to center to plate Morrison with the second run. Wes Helms followed with a double down the left-field line to chase home both runners to complete the four-run rally.

The Marlins loaded the bases with one out in the second and Sanchez's scoring fly ball brought Ozzie Martinez home to make it a 5-0 contest.

Pittsburgh got on the board in the fourth on an RBI double by Neil Walker, who then came in to score on an Alvarez base hit to make it a 5-2 game. The runs ended an 18 2/3 innings scoreless streak for Volstad.

The Marlins seemingly blew the game open with another four-spot in the fourth.

Uggla doubled home a run and then scored with Morrison when Stanton crushed a three-run homer to center.

Stanton's RBI single in the sixth plated Sanchez to make it a 10-2 contest.

Brian Sanches took over for the Marlins in the seventh and gave up a leadoff long ball to Ronny Cedeno.

Sandy Rosario assumed the hill in the eighth but couldn't make it through a full inning after giving up an RBI hit to Alvarez and walking Bowker to force in a run.

Clay Hensley came on to strike out Presley and get Jason Jaramillo to fly out to shallow left before walking Argenis Diaz to force in another run that cut the lead to 10-6. Pinch-hitter Delwyn Young then flied out to end the inning.

Morrison led off the home eighth with a triple and scored on a one-out single by Sanchez to account for the Marlins' final run of the night.

Volstad earned his first career win in three starts against the Pirates...Stanton has hit safely in eight straight games during which he has collected 14 hits...Duke is 0-5 in seven career turns against Florida...He went 3-8 in 12 road starts this season...Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata pushed his hit streak to a career-high 13 games in which he has totaled 18 hits...Alvarez has reached safely in 18 straight games, while Andrew McCutchen went 0-for-4 and had his streak of reaching base safely stopped at 24 games. Doug Drabek tossed a complete-game three-hit shutout over St. Louis on September 30, 1990 to clinch the Pirates first NL East division title since 1979.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.