Final

Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 4/4)

Game 1: Monday, April 3
Florida0Final
Houston1
Game 2: Tuesday, April 4
Florida11Final
Houston2
Game 3: Wednesday, April 5
Florida5Final
Houston6

Marlins 11

(1-1, 1-1 away)

Astros 2

(1-1, 1-1 home)

8:05 PM ET, April 4, 2006

Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas 

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FLA 300251000 11 17 1
HOU 000000002 2 6 1

W: S. Mitre (1-0)

L: A. Pettitte (0-1)

Pettitte gives up 10 runs as young Marlins rout Astros

HOUSTON (AP) -- The rookie-laden Florida Marlins looked like old pros against Andy Pettitte.

Miguel Cabrera hit one of four Florida homers and the Marlins roughed up Pettitte for 10 runs and 13 hits Tuesday night in an 11-2 rout of the Houston Astros.

Josh Willingham connected twice, Mike Jacobs added a three-run shot and Hanley Ramirez had four hits and three RBI. Florida, with six rookies in its starting lineup and a major league-low payroll of about $15 million, gave first-year manager Joe Girardi his first win.

Things went bad early for Pettitte, who allowed seven earned runs in 4 2/3 innings.

"Obviously, the starting pitcher, you've got to set the tone," Pettitte said. "The first inning, give up three runs, that's just terrible. It's extremely disappointing. I'm embarrassed. I don't know what to say. I've got to go around to every guy and apologize."

Cabrera, who was 0-for-4 in Monday's 1-0 loss, hit a two-run homer to right in the first. He also doubled and scored in the fifth.

"It doesn't look like Pettitte was having a very good start, but I'm not surprised our guys got after him," Cabrera said.

Willingham, who spent most of last season at Triple-A Albuquerque, got his second major league home run when his long fly hit the yellow line atop the left-field wall two pitches later. Willingham also connected against Chad Qualls in the sixth.

Willingham said Cabrera's early homer set the tone for the game.

"He took a lot of pressure off of our offense," he said. "I think it kind of loosened everyone up. Pettitte wasn't the same guy that we faced last year. He was leaving some balls over the middle of the plate."

Jacobs homered into the right-field bullpen in the fifth to stretch the lead to 8-0.

When winning pitcher Sergio Mitre hit the third double of the inning to score Miguel Olivo, the sellout crowd began to boo Pettitte.

Ramirez followed with an RBI double, and the boos got even louder. Russ Springer then relieved Pettitte to a loud ovation.

Jacobs presented a game ball to Girardi that he said would go in his trophy case. Team officials gave him a bottle of champagne to commemorate his first victory.

"I think this takes a little pressure off of them," Girardi said. "And it's going to take a lot of pressure off guys who haven't done it before."

Pettitte, the left-hander who ended last season with a seven-game winning streak, hadn't allowed three homers in a game since 2003 with the New York Yankees. The 13 hits were the most he had given up since 2001, when he allowed 14 at Boston.

Mitre pitched six shutout innings, allowing three hits. He struck out five and walked one to earn the win in his Marlins debut.

Todd Wellemeyer, Chris Resop and Matt Herges finished up for Florida, which outhit Houston 17-6.

Girardi doesn't think the win will change the minds of those who picked the Marlins to be baseball's worst team.

"No one knows where this team is going to end up," he said. "We had some guys who had some tough nights last night but they bounced right back."

A day after getting their only run on a wild pitch, the Astros again failed to muster much offense. Preston Wilson had an RBI groundout in the ninth, and Eric Bruntlett hit a run-scoring single.

"I don't think what you've seen is the real Astros," Houston manager Phil Garner said. "We had good, tough at-bats last night. I didn't think we had as good of tough at-bats tonight."

Ramirez, a rookie shortstop, rebounded from a mistake-filled opening day when he had two errors, three strikeouts and got thrown out trying to steal second.

Cabrera said he talked with Ramirez after Monday's game and told him to forget his performance. So Ramirez did, but he still worried about facing Pettitte.

"I felt the pressure," Ramirez said. "He's a World Series guy and I knew that. But today was a new day."

Another rookie, second baseman Dan Uggla, got his first two hits in the majors, a single in the first and a double in the sixth.

Without Roger Clemens until at least May 1, the Astros are counting on Pettitte to have another big season in the final year of a $31.5 million, three-year contract. He was 17-9 last season with a career-best 2.39 ERA.

Game notes


Houston's Fernando Nieve allowed one hit in a scoreless inning in his major-league debut. ... Pettitte's seven earned runs was the most since he also allowed seven on May 18, 2005, against Arizona.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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