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Pierre helps Fish hook Giants

MIAMI (AP) -- Toiling in 92-degree sunshine, A.J. Burnett
appreciated words of encouragement from fellow pitcher Dontrelle
Willis.

"Dontrelle is out there yelling at me, `I'm with you, I'm with
you. I know it's hot, but I'm with you," Burnett said with a
smile. "He's sitting in the shade saying all that."

Burnett held up well enough in the Florida heat to win his sixth
consecutive start Sunday, helping the Marlins beat the San
Francisco Giants 4-1.

Burnett (11-6) took a three-hit shutout into the eighth inning,
then departed after giving up three consecutive singles to load the
bases. Antonio Alfonseca and Todd Jones finished.

"I've been in a good zone lately," Burnett said. "We're going
to go as far as our starting staff takes us."

Starters Burnett, Willis, Josh Beckett and Brian Moehler have
given up a total of three runs in the past four games, helping
Florida close within two games of NL wild-card leader Houston.

"We've got a chance to do something great," Burnett said.

The hard-throwing right-hander, who threw a three-hit shutout in
his last start to beat Arizona, has an ERA of 1.43 during his
winning streak. It began after he became the subject of trade
rumors, which ended only when the trade deadline passed July 31.

"Keep the rumors going," manager Jack McKeon joked. "As long
as his name was out there being traded, the better he has pitched.
So keep trading him."

Burnett, who threw 101 pitches, said he has been more successful
since starting to rely more on his sinker. His strikeouts are down
-- he had five Sunday -- but so is his pitch count.

He improved to 27-15 in the Marlins' ballpark, breaking the
stadium record for victories he shared with Brad Penny.

"It's not really a big record, because nobody sticks around
here for too long," said Burnett, a free agent after this season.
"Records are like 3000 K's and 300 wins."

Juan Pierre celebrated his 28th birthday with two hits, scored
twice and drove in a run. He also made a diving catch of
pinch-hitter Randy Winn's fly to short center field with two on to
end the game.

Alfonseca got Edgardo Alfonzo to ground into a bases-loaded
double play in the eighth, scoring a run, and Pedro Feliz then
struck out to end the inning. Jones pitched the ninth for his 25th
save in 27 chances.

Brad Hennessey (4-5) allowed four runs and six hits in 4 2-3
innings. He has the worst run support of any Giants starter and
left trailing 4-0.

"Sometimes you feel like you have to go out there and be
perfect," he said. "You can't let that affect you."

Florida and San Francisco combined for nine runs in the series,
with the Marlins winning two of three games.

"We had a shot at winning or losing all three games," San
Francisco manager Felipe Alou said. "It was a matter of not being
able to deliver a hit here and there."

The Giants fell to 2-4 on their season-high 13-game trip.

Matt Treanor doubled in the third for the Marlins, who then came
up with a pair of two-out RBI hits -- a triple by Pierre and a
single by Damion Easley -- for a 2-0 lead.

Florida scored twice more in the fifth. Pierre singled and took
third on a two-out double by Miguel Cabrera, who ended an 0-for-13
skid. Carlos Delgado was intentionally walked, and Alou's strategy
backfired when Hennessey hit Juan Encarnacion with a pitch to force
in a run, then walked Mike Lowell to score another for a 4-0
Florida lead.

Game notes
Giants C Yamid Haad singled in the third for his first
major league hit. He had been 0-for-9. 3B Lowell robbed Haad of
another hit in the fifth, making a barehanded grab to throw him
out. ... The Marlins won the season series 4-2. Florida is 41-67
against San Francisco. ... Marlins SS Alex Gonzalez went 0-for-4
and stranded seven runners.