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Lowell's hidden-ball trick fools D-Backs, stops rally

MIAMI (AP) -- Baserunners, beware. When you stop at third base
against the Florida Marlins, don't let Mike Lowell out of your
sight.

For the second time in less than a year, Lowell made a fool of
an unsuspecting runner with the hidden-ball trick.

Just when Arizona's Luis Terrero thought it was safe to take a
lead, Lowell caught him wandering off the bag in the eighth inning
Wednesday night. The sleight of hand halted a Diamondbacks rally,
and the Marlins went on to win in a rout, 10-5.

Miguel Cabrera hit his 26th homer and Juan Pierre scored three
runs for Florida, which won its second in a row after being swept
in a doubleheader in Colorado on Monday.

With the Diamondbacks trailing 6-5, Terrero hit a leadoff single
against Marlins closer Todd Jones. Terrero advanced on Quinton
McCracken's sacrifice and went to third on Tony Clark's pinch-hit
single to left.

Lowell, who caught Montreal's Brian Schneider with a hidden-ball
play last Sept. 15, quickly sized up another opportunity to pull
the rare trick after catching Cabrera's throw to the infield.

"I looked to first to see if Tony Clark was going to advance,
then I looked at third base," Lowell said. "Both guys had their
heads down so I just held onto the ball to see what would happen."

Despite the absence of any signal from Lowell, Jones -- who said
he hadn't seen the play since 1986, when he was in high school --
understood what his teammate was up to.

"When I didn't get the ball, I figured it out by the process of
elimination," Jones said. "I just walked around and tried to
stall. I was running out of things to do. I was going to touch my
toes."

Just as Jones was getting ready to give up the charade, Terrero
took his lead off third base. Lowell sauntered over and tagged the
stunned baserunner, who was immediately called out by third base
umpire Ed Rapuano, drawing a roar of approval from the crowd of
20,443.

"It was the coolest thing I've done on the field in a while,"
said Jones, who singled in the bottom half of the inning for his
fourth career hit -- his first since July 27, 1995.

Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin came out of the dugout to argue
the call, to no avail.

"It was just the culmination of a poorly played game by us, our
worst game of the year," Melvin said. "We didn't deserve to win
that game."

Rookie Jason Vargas (3-0) pitched five solid innings to win his
second straight start. He allowed one run on four hits while
striking out five.

"I wish I could have been stronger and given them seven innings
but they took me deep in a lot of counts and made me throw a lot of
pitches," Vargas said. "They fouled a lot of pitches off and
didn't give me a lot of air to breathe. They were battling, I was
battling and I was fortunate to come out on top."

Lowell was the last major-leaguer to pull the play when he used
it last season to escape a bases-loaded, two-out jam during the
first game of a doubleheader against Montreal. After Schneider
stopped at third on a single, Lowell faked a throw to the mound.
When the Expos' runner left the bag, Lowell tagged Schneider for
the final out.

"I've seen Cookie Rojas pull it a couple of times, and Mike a
couple of times, those are the only ones I know of in the big
leagues," Marlins manager Jack McKeon said.

Lowell also contributed with the bat Wednesday, hitting a
two-run double off Brad Halsey (8-8) in the bottom of the fifth to
cap a three-run outburst and put the Marlins up 6-1.

"We didn't play well and we didn't win the ballgame," Halsey
said. "That's what happens. I really don't know what else to say
about it."

Troy Glaus keyed Arizona's rally in the seventh with a three-run
double off Guillermo Mota, after left-hander Ron Villone walked the
bases loaded. Glaus advanced on a wild pitch and scored on Shawn
Green's sacrifice fly to draw the Diamondbacks to within 6-5.

After Terrero's miscue the following inning, the Marlins broke
it open with four runs in the eighth, capped by Alex Gonzalez's
three-run base-clearing double.

Jones completed his two-inning outing in the ninth for his 24th
save in 26 opportunities.

Pierre stole his 39th and 40th bases of the season and reached
safely in each of his first four plate appearances. He hit a
leadoff single in the first and stole second. After advancing on
Luis Castillo's grounder to first he scored Florida's first run
when Halsey's 58-footer bounced off catcher Kelly Stinnett for a
wild pitch.

Halsey fielded Pierre's leadoff bunt in the third but had no one
to throw to when first base was left uncovered. One out later,
Cabrera hit a 421-foot shot over the left-field scoreboard to make
it 3-0.

Acquired from Seattle on July 31, Villone struggled in his
Dolphins Stadium debut. After striking out Chris Snyder to begin
the seventh, he walked Craig Counsell, Royce Clayton and Luis
Gonzalez to load the bases. Mota relieved and Glaus slammed a drive
over Pierre's head for a bases-clearing double.

Mota threw a wild pitch -- one of five in the game between the
two teams -- that allowed Glaus to advance to third. Green flied out
to left and Glaus scored just ahead of Cabrera's throw to the
plate.

Clayton drove in Arizona's first run with a double in the
fifth.

Game notes
Halsey hadn't allowed a home run in 37 innings before
Cabrera's homer. ... The Marlins have scored first in 19 of their
last 22 games, including each of their last five. ... Marlins RF
Chris Aguila popped out to 2B Craig Counsell in each of his first
three at-bats. ... Juan Encarnacion, who missed his seventh
straight start because of a sore wrist, replaced Aguila in the
field in the eighth. ... Jones got his last hit with Houston
against Colorado.