Series: Game 3 of 3

Florida won 2-1

Game 1: Friday, May 9
Game 2: Saturday, May 10
Game 3: Sunday, May 11

Rockies 2

(17-20, 6-16 away)

Marlins 7

(17-22, 11-10 home)

    1:35 PM ET, May 11, 2003

    Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida 

    123456789 R H E
    COL 100100000 2 12 0
    FLA 10002202 - 7 8 0

    W: C. Pavano (3-4)

    L: A. Cook (1-3)

    Hours after Torborg's firing, Marlins blast Rockies

    MIAMI (AP) -- Once again, the Florida Marlins were at their best with a new manager in the dugout.

    Florida made Jack McKeon a winner in his first game as skipper Sunday, when Luis Castillo went 4-for-5 with a rare home run to help beat the Colorado Rockies 7-2.

    Florida improved to 6-1 (.857) when playing its first game under a new manager. In all other games they're 717-868 (.452).

    "I'm like a kid with a new toy,'' the 72-year-old McKeon said. "I felt good about today. I felt I had a tremendous rapport with the guys.''

    Jeff Torborg was fired late Saturday following a loss to the Rockies and replaced by McKeon, who has managed four other teams.

    "We'll go undefeated with him from now on,'' joked Mike Lowell, who hit his 10th home run. "We're 1-0. If he steps down right now, we'll go down in history.''

    McKeon barely had time to introduce himself to his players before the Marlins took the field, and he struggled to remember their names afterward. But for one day, at least, the change in managers had the desired effect.

    Castillo hit his 10th career homer in 2,897 at-bats, Juan Pierre ran wild on the bases and Carl Pavano (3-4) pitched seven innings.

    "The players get a mulligan and say, 'Here we go,''' Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "But Pavano made more of a difference today than Jack McKeon, no disrespect to Jack. He got seven innings out of a starter.''

    Pavano gave up 12 hits but walked none, stranded nine and allowed only two runs. Along with the gutsy pitching, McKeon got good defense and timely hits -- elements too often missing under Torborg.

    Castillo pulled a pitch from Brian Fuentes over the left-field scoreboard in the sixth for his second home run of the season, tying a career high. Lowell had three hits, including a two-run homer. Pierre singled, walked three times, stole three bases and tied a Marlins record by scoring four times.

    With two victories in three games, Florida won a series against the Rockies for the first time since May 18-20, 2001.

    Maybe a pregame pep talk from McKeon helped.

    "The message was to have fun,'' he said. "I told them, 'I think you're trying too hard. Relax and have fun, and we'll win.'''

    He was right, despite another big day by Colorado's Preston Wilson, playing against his former team for the first time. He went 3-for-4 with an RBI and finished the series 6-for-11 with two homers and six RBI.

    Aaron Cook (1-3) allowed five hits, four walks and three runs in five innings for the Rockies, who closed out their longest road trip of the season 2-7.

    "It doesn't matter where you are,'' Wilson said. "Going home doesn't mean it's going to get any easier. You have to execute, throw strikes and get hits with runners in scoring position. If you don't do those things, it doesn't matter where you play.''

    The Marlins scored twice in the fifth to take a 3-2 lead. Pierre singled and stole second, Castillo reached on a bunt single and Lowell singled home a run. Todd Hollandsworth hit a sacrifice fly, with left fielder Jay Payton making a leaping catch, to put Florida ahead.

    With two outs in the sixth, Pierre walked and Castillo homered to make it 5-2.

    Florida also scored in the first. Pierre walked, went to third on Castillo's single and came home when Lowell hit into a double play.

    A pivotal moment came when the Rockies loaded the bases with none out in the fourth on singles by Jose Hernandez, Bobby Estalella and Ronnie Belliard, who reached when the Marlins left first base uncovered on his sacrifice bunt.

    Cook drove in a run with a groundout, but Pavano retired the next two hitters to escape further damage.

    "I'd love to draw it up like this every night,'' McKeon said. "I truly believe these guys are good enough to compete.''

    Game notes

    RHP Jason Young was recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs to start Monday for Colorado against the New York Mets. He'll probably return to the minors after the start. "I told him not to buy a house,'' manager Clint Hurdle said. RHP Dan Miceli was designated for assignment. ... The temperature for the 1:35 p.m. start was 89 degrees. ... The Rockies still lead the all-time series between 1993 expansion teams 51-50. ... McKeon was assigned uniform No. 15. ... Mark Sweeney struck out pinch-hitting but is still a .385 lifetime hitter (25-for-65) against the Marlins.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press