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Marlins defeat Phillies for eighth straight time

MIAMI (AP) -- Juan Pierre hit a two-out RBI single in the ninth
inning Sunday, and the Florida Marlins beat the Philadelphia
Phillies for the eighth time in a row, 7-6.

With a three-game series sweep, Florida is just two games behind
NL wild-card leader Philadelphia and seven games above .500 for the
first time since 1997.

Florida's winning streak against the Phillies matched the
longest in Marlins history against an opponent. They beat the
Chicago Cubs eight consecutive times in 1996-97.

Miguel Cabrera doubled with one out in the ninth off Mike
Williams (1-5). After Alex Gonzalez struck out, pinch hitter Todd
Hollandsworth walked. Pierre then dropped a flare into short left
field, and Cabrera slid home ahead of Pat Burrell's throw.

Williams lost for the second time in the series and has an ERA
of 9.64 since being acquired from Pittsburgh on July 20.

Ugueth Urbina (2-0) struck out four in two scoreless innings.
The Florida bullpen shut out Philadelphia over the final five
innings.

Florida's Mike Lowell hit a two-run homer, his 29th, and tied a
team record with an RBI in his eighth consecutive game.

Burrell doubled home two runs and threw out Pierre trying to
score the go-ahead run from second on a one-out single in the
eighth.

Kevin Millwood was hit on the right arm by Gonzalez's one-hop
infield single in the fourth inning. After a visit from the
trainer, Millwood stayed in the game but retired only one more
batter before departing.

Millwood gave up nine hits and six runs -- five earned -- in 3 1-3
innings and failed to finish the fourth inning for the second start
in a row.

Florida's Carl Pavano also struggled on sunny, the 90-degree
afternoon, throwing 102 pitches in four innings. He gave up seven
hits and a season-high five walks and left trailing 6-4.

Lowell's homer put Florida ahead 4-3 in the third, but the
Phillies rallied in the fourth.

Millwood led off with a double, raising his average to .050
(2-for-40). Marlon Byrd singled, Tomas Perez hit a sacrifice fly
and Pat Burrell delivered a two-out, two-run double. Burrell had
been 1-for-12 previously against Pavano.

Florida made it 6-all in the fourth. Pinch hitter Ramon Castro
doubled home a run, then scored when Luis Castillo tripled to knock
out Millwood.

The two bullpens then matched shutout innings until the ninth.

Marlins right fielder Juan Encarnacion saved two runs with a
diving, inning-ending catch to rob Nick Punto after Philadelphia
had already scored three runs in the third.

The Phillies, who have committed 11 errors in the past five
games, gave up an unearned run in the first. Pierre led off with a
single and Castillo walked. Third baseman Punto dove to stop
Lowell's sharp grounder, then made a wild throw to first, allowing
Pierre to score.

Consecutive doubles by Cabrera and Gonzalez put Florida ahead
2-0 in the second.

Philadelphia took the lead with three runs in the third. Bobby
Abreu hit a sacrifice fly, Jimmy Rollins beat out a bases-loaded
infield single and Todd Pratt hit another sacrifice fly.

The Phillies also loaded the bases in the second on a two-out
single by Rollins and consecutive walks. Millwood then lined out to
third.

Game notes
Phillies 2B Placido Polanco bruised his left shin when he
fouled a pitch off his leg in the first inning. He departed the
game in the third. ... Lowell's RBI streak ties the team record
shared by Gary Sheffield (1994), Moises Alou (1997) and Ivan
Rodriguez (2003). ... Phillies reliever Turk Wendell made the
non-play of the day, vaulting hands-first over a dribbler along the
third-base line to avoid the ball and allow it to roll foul. ...
Castillo improved his average against Millwood to .357 (15-for-42).
... Neither team plays an NL East opponent again until Aug. 29.