Created on Friday, 17 May 2013 Written by STEVEN WINE,AP Sports Writer
MIAMI (AP) — Trailing by a run in the ninth inning, the woeful Miami Marlins tripled twice — and still lost.
After Miami forced extra innings, NL RBI leader Brandon Phillips drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the 10th, and the Cincinnati Reds completed their second three-game sweep in a row by beating Miami 5-3 Thursday night.
"I'm happy with the way we battled," manager Mike Redmond said. "We used almost all our guys, we bunted, we tried everything to score some runs and still we came up short."
The Marlins trailed 2-1 when Adeiny Hechavarria tripled with one out in the ninth off starter Mat Latos. Closer Aroldis Chapman came on to strike out pinch-hitter Placido Polanco on a 100 mph fastball, but rookie Marcell Ozuna connected with a 98 mph fastball for an RBI triple.
Chapman then struck out pinch-hitter Justin Ruggiano to send the game into extra innings. Steve Cishek (1-4) gave up three runs in the 10th.
"We showed a lot of fight," said Marlins left fielder Juan Pierre, who hit a rare homer. "Young guys are really coming along. I know it's tough, it looks ugly, but it's the type of stuff that makes you stronger."
Pierre led off Miami's first with his first homer since June 23, and the 18th of his 14-year career. He let out a whoop when the ball barely cleared the fence just inside the foul pole.
"I don't know how to react to those things, so it's just a spur-of-the-moment deal," he said. "That's about the only time you'll see me smiling on the baseball field."
Latos was still shaking his head about the homer three hours later.
"Juan Pierre hit a home run off me — just my luck," he said. "I looked at him when he was running the bases and said, 'What the heck happened?'"
That was one of only six hits off Latos and two relievers. After Chapman (3-1) blew a save for the first time in nine chances, J.J. Hoover gave up a run in the 10th but earned his third save.
Pinch-hitter Donald Lutz led off the 10th with a single against Cishek. Following a walk, a bunt and an intentional walk, Phillips lifted a flyball for his second RBI of the night and 36th of the season.
Jay Bruce followed with a two-run double and finished with three RBIs.
"We wanted to win the game in nine," said Phillips, who also homered. "We could have just put our heads down, but we went with the flow."
Latos threw only 91 pitches in 8 1-3 innings. The right-hander's streak of wins in four consecutive starts ended even though he allowed just four hits and two runs.
"Latos was dealing," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "That's as pitch-efficient as I've seen anybody."
The young Marlins, who have the NL's worst record, lost their fifth consecutive game and were swept for the fourth time this year. They rank last in the majors in runs and totaled five in the series.
"I was trying to throw the ball right down the middle," Latos said. "It's a big ballpark, and I tried to let those guys get themselves out. A lot of them swing early and often."
Miami rookie Jose Fernandez allowed two runs in seven innings and threw a career-high 99 pitches. The Marlins have scored 23 runs in his eight starts.
The Reds swept a series in Miami for the first time since 2004. They've won a season-best six in a row to climb nine games above .500 for the first time.
Latos preserved a 2-1 lead when he pitched out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the seventh. Jeff Mathis, playing in his first game this year after coming off the disabled list, bounced into a 5-2-3 double play.
The game was the finale this season between the two teams. Cincinnati went 6-1 against the Marlins, outscoring them 40-16.
The Marlins fell to 0-11 with the retractable roof open in their ballpark. They're 5-3 with the roof closed.
Pierre began the game with a slugging percentage of .278, but he needed only one swing in the first to put Miami ahead.
Pierre also robbed the Reds of two extra-base hits in left field. He made a diving catch of Joey Votto's drive to the warning track in the first, and made a diving, backhanded grab of Todd Frazier's fly in the sixth.
NOTES: Reds C Ryan Hanigan has thrown out five of eight runners attempting to steal, including Hechavarria in the fourth inning. ... Votto is hitting .391 on the road. ... The first pitch for the Reds' game on Sunday, June 9 against the St. Louis Cardinals has been changed to 8:05 p.m.