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Harris sparks Marlins with three-run double

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Career pinch-hit leader Lenny Harris added a
big one to his total.

The 40-year-old Harris had a three-run go-ahead double off Jason
Marquis in the sixth inning, helping the Florida Marlins beat the
St. Louis Cardinals 6-5 on Monday to keep a second-half surge
alive.

"Obviously, age doesn't make a difference," Marquis said. "He
wouldn't be on the roster if he wasn't good enough. It takes
someone special to be put in that role to only see 'X' amount of
at-bats a year."

Mike Lowell hit only his second road home run of the season and
had three RBI for the Marlins, who have won five of six. Juan
Encarnacion had three hits and scored twice.

"It's a different club from the first half," manager Jack
McKeon said. "If you're hitting and scoring runs and everybody's
happy, it's a nice clubhouse."

Albert Pujols hit his 29th homer, John Rodriguez had two hits
and two RBI, and So Taguchi had three hits for the Cardinals, who
opened a seven-game homestand against NL East opponents. St. Louis
is an NL-best 66-39 but only 7-9 against the East.

Jason Marquis (9-9) fell behind 3-0 to Harris with the bases
loaded and one out before Harris lined a 3-1 pitch down the
right-field line to cap a four-run inning that erased a 4-2
deficit. The hit was Harris' major league-leading 205th as a
pinch-hitter. Harris is 12-for-39 (.308) in the pinch for the
Marlins with seven RBI, and has only eight at-bats as a position
player.

This was probably his biggest hit since a bases-clearing double
Aug. 18, 2004, that gave the Dodgers' Eric Gagne only his second
blown save that season.

"It was big," Harris said. "He was struggling a little bit,
throwing some balls pretty much way, way away from the plate.
Fortunately, I hit the ball good and hit it in the right spot."

Harris, who was hitless in his previous four pinch-hit
appearances, is 6-for-14 with runners in scoring position.

Ismael Valdez (1-0) allowed four runs on eight hits in five
innings for his first victory since Sept. 28 at Montreal. He has
made three appearances, two of them starts, after recovering from a
hairline fracture of his right leg and this was his longest outing.

Pinch-hitter John Mabry's sacrifice fly off Antonio Alfonseca
cut the gap to a run before Todd Jones worked a perfect the ninth
for his 21st save in 23 chances. Jones has 207 career saves, one
more than the Cardinals' Jason Isringhausen.

Marquis was 1-2 with a 2.80 ERA in five July starts, but is 1-6
with a 5.10 in nine appearances since June 15 after allowing six
runs on nine hits in six innings. He failed in his third attempt to
become the last member of the Cardinals' rotation to reach double
figures in victories.

"He got a couple of breaking balls not in perfect spots,"
manager Tony La Russa said. "He just didn't get away with anything
but he made a lot of good pitches."

Lowell, who has only six homers this year after hitting 27 in
2004, hit a two-run shot in the second and added a sacrifice fly in
the sixth.

Pujols homered in the first, and walked and scored on
Rodriguez's two-run double in the third. Marquis, who leads NL
pitchers with 19 hits, a .333 average and nine RBI, had a
run-scoring double in the second.

Game notes
Pujols is 13-for-29 (.448) with three homers during a
seven-game hitting streak. His first-inning shot ended a string of
nine straight games in which the Marlins scored first, going 6-3 in
that stretch. ... Lowell hit his first road homer on July 22 at San
Francisco. His homer was the first in five games for the Marlins.
... Jim Edmonds, who had homered in the previous two games, doubled
twice. ... Ron Villone, acquired by Florida from the Mariners on
the trade deadline, had one strikeout in 1 1/3 hitless innings. ...
Cardinals third baseman Abraham Nunez robbed Lowell of extra bases
in the ninth, making a diving stab and turning it into a double
play.