MIAMI (AP) -- Pitcher Carl Pavano dove headfirst into third base with an RBI triple. Big Derrek Lee chased two teammates across the plate with an inside-the-park homer. The Florida Marlins kept running and left the Atlanta Braves reeling.
Lee drove in five runs with two homers, and the Marlins totaled
15 hits for their fourth consecutive victory, beating Atlanta 12-5
The last-place Braves have been outscored 72-17 in their eight losses. Atlanta's ERA rose to 6.39, worst in the National League.
"Hey -- got a game tomorrow, man,'' manager Bobby Cox said in the Braves' gloomy clubhouse.
Lee, dropped from fourth to sixth in the order this week
following a slow start, hit a drive in the seventh that eluded
center fielder Andruw Jones near the 434-foot sign. The 6-foot-5
first baseman is surprisingly swift, and he beat the throw home standing up.
"I thought it was a regular homer,'' Lee said. "I was rounding first and jogging when I saw it take a big bounce. I turned it on, but rounding third I was out of gas. I was too tired to slide.''
Said manager Jeff Torborg: "If I were a catcher and he was coming in like that, I'm thinking, 'Oh boy, I hope I live to play another day.'''
Lee hit a two-run homer in the fourth. He has three homers this season, all in the past two games.
Pavano capped Florida's three-run fourth with a two-out RBI triple, alarming his teammates when he made a risky headfirst slide into the base.
"A swan dive,'' Torborg said.
"It's the quickest way to the bag for me,'' Pavano said with a sheepish smile. "My nose helped a little bit. It's a little heavier.''
Juan Pierre singled home Florida's first run in the third. That
extended his hitting streak to 15 games, longest in the majors,
including 12 this season.
Teammate Luis Castillo had three hits for the second night in a
row and singled home two runs to cap a five-run seventh.
By the fifth inning, every Florida starter had a hit.
"They're good hitters, even though people don't give them much
credit,'' Ortiz said.
Errors by first baseman Robert Fick and third baseman Vinny
Castilla helped the Marlins score two unearned runs in the fifth to
go ahead 7-4. The Braves lead the major leagues with 17 errors and
have allowed 11 unearned runs.
"We've always been able to overcome an error,'' Cox said. "The pitcher will pick you up.''
Not this time. Ortiz (1-2), who pitched seven shutout innings Monday to beat Pavano, allowed 10 hits and seven runs, five earned, in four-plus innings.
"Last time I made them hit my pitch,'' Ortiz said. "This time I didn't hit my spots.''
A crowd of 25,203 watched Florida reach .500 for the first time. Through eight home games attendance is up 5,153 per game, or 46 percent.
"We were kind of shocked when we came out and saw the big crowd,'' Lee said. "It fired the guys up a little more.''
Lee was 1-for-21 against Ortiz before his homer in the fourth.
Mike Lowell's RBI single knocked out the right-hander in the
Lee has 101 homers with Florida. He hit one with San Diego.
Three other players have also hit 100 homers for the Marlins. ...
Lee's inside-the-park homer was the 10th for the Marlins, and the
first since Mike Redmond hit one Aug. 4, 2001. ... Florida improved
to 4-0 since moving Pierre to the leadoff spot in the order. ...
Pavano has given up five home runs in two games against the Braves