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Marlins could drop out of wild card tie

8/11/2003

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Eddie Perez made a perfect throw when the
Brewers needed it most.

Perez threw out Juan Pierre trying to steal in the ninth inning,
and John Vander Wal made up for a baserunning mistake by hitting
the go-ahead homer in the seventh on Sunday as Milwaukee defeated
the Florida Marlins 5-4 and snapped a four-game losing streak.

"Eddie saved that game," said Brewers closer Danny Kolb, who
got his sixth save. "I didn't save it, I'll give it to him. He's
the one that's got to make that throw."

Pierre singled off Kolb with one out in the ninth and with the
count 2-1 to Luis Castillo, the major league steals leader took off
for second.

Perez's throw to second baseman Bill Hall was right on line and
Pierre slid right into the tag.

"As a base stealer, that's supposed to be my job," Pierre
said. "You have to tip your hat to him (Perez).

"If the throw is up or down, I'm safe. It was right there."

Vander Wal's 14th home run, the most he's had since he hit 24
for Pittsburgh in 2000, made up for his base-running error in the
fourth when he was doubled off first on Perez's fly to center.

"We've had problems scoring runs," said Vander Wal, who was
running with the pitch. "Sometimes you need to take chances when
you're not scoring runs. Eddie hit it right on the button. You've
got a lot of speed out there, I realize that. I took a gamble and
was hoping it was over (Pierre's) his head."

It wasn't, and he was caught around second when Pierre caught
it. Vander Wal was easily out.

The Brewers were outscored in the six-game homestand 36-16 and
won only the first and last game.

Penny allowed eight hits in seven innings. He struck out six and
walked one. He retired 15 of 18 batters after Sexson's homer in the
first before surrendering Vander Wal's homer.

"It was one bad inning," Penny said. "I threw good
otherwise."

The Marlins, fighting Philadelphia for the NL wild card spot,
tried to rally in the ninth.

Valerio De Los Santos (2-3) pitched a scoreless seventh for the
victory.

Mike Lowell hit a solo homer, his 31st, off Mike DeJean in the
top of the eighth to trim the Brewers' lead to 5-4.

The Marlins chipped away at the 3-0 deficit and tied it in the
sixth on Juan Encarnacion's 14th home run off Matt Kinney.

Ivan Rodriguez had an RBI single in third. In the fourth, Miguel
Cabrera doubled home Encarnacion who led off with a double. In the
sixth, Encarnacion hit a 385-foot homer on a 3-2 count to tie it at
3.

Kinney allowed seven hits in six innings. He struck out five and
walked three in his third start against the Marlins this season.

The Brewers took the lead with three runs in the first.

Keith Ginter doubled. Taking a big lead, he went to third when
catcher Ivan Rodriguez's throw second went into center field. Geoff
Jenkins doubled in Ginter and then scored on Sexson's 32nd homer
run.

Game notes
RHP David Manning's stay in the majors lasted two starts.
Before the game, the Brewers outrighted the 30-year-old pitcher to
Triple-A Indianapolis. He was 0-2 with an 16.19 ERA. A veteran of
12 seasons in the minors, his chance finally came when he was
called up to fill in for injured starter Glendon Rusch. ... A Paul
Molitor bobblehead giveaway helped the Brewers draw 37,521 fans,
the second largest crowd this season. A crowd of 42,570 attended
opening day.