Marlins win to even series, 1-1

Posted: October 02, 2003

SAN FRANCISCO — The Florida Marlins got the split they so desperately needed at Pacific Bell Park, and did it by getting away from the small ball that sent them on their improbable playoff journey.

Juan Encarnacion homered and Juan Pierre wound up with a bases-loaded double on a misplay by Jose Cruz Jr. in a decisive three-run sixth as the Marlins defeated the sloppy San Francisco Giants, 9-5, in Game 2 of the National League Division Series yesterday.

After Barry Bonds helped the Giants take a 4-1 lead, Sidney Ponson couldn't hold it. Pierre had four hits as the Marlins rallied to send the best-of-five series back to Florida at one apiece.

"Getting down, 4-1, I think they were confident they would get us again," Pierre said. "We put the pressure on them and kept the pressure on."

Kirk Rueter pitches for San Francisco against Mark Redman in Game 3 tomorrow in Miami.

Pierre said before this series started that the Giants hadn't yet seen the wild-card Marlins at their best. He led a 15-hit effort, a day after Florida was held to just three.

Carl Pavano, the winning pitcher when Florida clinched the wild card, earned another important victory by getting two outs.

On a day Bonds, 39, showed unusual energy in leftfield and on the bases, the Marlins again made sure the slugger wouldn't beat them at the plate. After Bonds doubled to drive in a run in the first, he was walked twice.

"You're damned if you do, you're damned if you don't," Florida manager Jack McKeon said of facing baseball's most feared slugger. "You walk him, he scores. You pitch to him, he hits it into McCovey Cove. Then I'm out there swimming for the ball." *

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