Scott Cousins' first career home run fuels Marlins

MIAMI -- The Florida Marlins had a couple of role players ready to be called upon.

Scott Cousins hit a grand slam for his first career home run, Brett Hayes added a three-run shot and the Florida Marlins beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-5 on Thursday night to finish off a three-game sweep.

"It feels very, very good," Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said. "When Pittsburgh came in, they were playing very well, so we were playing a very good team. We've been playing well, we've been scoring runs, we've been finding ways to get those runs in."

Cousins took full advantage of earning a start in centerfield in favor of Chris Coghlan, who was given a day off, and Hayes stepped in for starter John Buck at catcher.

"That's our job, we've got to be ready," Hayes said.

Cousins' shot to right-center field off James McDonald (0-2) gave Florida a 4-1 lead in the second inning.

"It was basically right down the middle," McDonald said.

Cousins also doubled later in the game and received shaving cream to the face during a post-game interview.

"Oh man, that was a great feeling," Cousins said. "A great feeling to get the home run out of the way and a grand slam to boot. It was pretty cool to help us get a sweep."

Hayes extended the lead to 8-1 in the third with his first home run of the season. Both of the home runs came off McDonald, who lasted just three innings.

"Three days in a row we dug big holes off the mound early," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.

Chris Volstad (1-1) allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings for the Marlins, who also got a home run from Mike Stanton, his first of the season.

"It felt good to get it out of the way and move on," Stanton said.

Pittsburgh cut the lead to 9-5 in the sixth inning before Matt Diaz grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded as Hanley Ramirez dove to his left and flipped to Omar Infante, who tossed it to first to end the inning.

"Obviously that was a key part of the game," Pirates' Pedro Alvarez said. "If Hanley doesn't make that play, it might be a different story. He made a great play."

Alvarez homered, had three hits and drove in two runs as a positive for the Pirates.

"We're not looking to find little nuggets," Hurdle said. "We're looking to win ballgames. This is not a league where you try hard, this league you've got to do good."

Game notes
Marlins LF Logan Morrison (foot sprain) was placed on the 15-day disabled list following the game retroactive to Wednesday. A corresponding move will be announced Friday. ... Pirates SS Josh Rodriguez got his first hit in the majors with an infield single in the fifth. "You don't picture your first hit in the big leagues like that," Rodriguez said. ... The Marlins have batted around in three consecutive games. ... Cousins became the seventh Marlins hitter hit a grand slam as his first career home run.