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Marlins rough up Maddux en route to three-game sweep

MIAMI, Fla. (AP) -- Once the Florida Marlins finished teeing off Greg Maddux, he took his turn.

He grabbed a bat and whacked the water cooler.

Joe Borchard and Miguel Cabrera hit three-run homers and the Marlins roughed up a shaky Maddux, beating the Chicago Cubs 9-3 on Wednesday for a three-game sweep.

"I made pretty good pitches, but they got me," Maddux said. "You don't like to lose, especially like that."

The last-place Marlins posted their longest winning streak of the season. They also kept Maddux (5-4) winless in May after he got off to the best start of his career.

After going 5-0 with a 1.35 ERA in April, the four-time Cy Young winner fell to 0-4 with a 7.81 ERA this May. The last time Maddux went through a full month without a victory was September 2001.

Maddux gave up six runs and eight hits in six innings. After giving up five runs in the fifth and falling behind 6-3, he clubbed the cooler.

"I threw the ball where I wanted to and they still hit it," he said.

Borchard's homer capped the big inning against Maddux.

"It's pretty exciting," Borchard said. "It's not very often you can say something like that."

Brian Moehler (2-4) pitched seven effective innings. He had gone 14 starts in a row without a victory before winning two straight.

"He's throwing a lot more strikes, using the breaking ball effectively, getting ahead in the count and getting hitters to chase pitches," Marlins manager Joe Girardi said. "He's limiting his pitches, so he's stronger down the road. He's so much better and more efficient."

Cabrera homered, doubled, walked twice and drove in four runs. Dan Uggla, who scored three times, and Miguel Olivo each had three hits for the Marlins.

"Anytime you face a guy like Maddux it's something you'll remember the rest of your life," Uggla said. "You just want to get a good at-bat and put the ball in play and make him work."

After being staked to a 3-1 lead in the fourth inning, Maddux gave up five runs in the fifth after retiring the first two batters. Uggla hit an RBI triple, Mike Jacobs doubled him home and Maddux then intentionally walked Cabrera to get to Borchard.

Borchard, hitless in his previous 10 at-bats, hit a drive 430 feet into the right-center field bleachers.

"The guys had good at-bats," Girardi said. "Dan had a good at-bat, Jake [Jacobs] had a good at-bat, and it went down the line. That's how you win, you don't give at-bats away."

Cabrera hit his eighth home run of the season, connecting in the seventh off reliever Roberto Novoa.

"I made the decision there, it was Cabrera or Borchard," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "Cabrera is one of the top hitters around. And then [Maddux] just made a mistake, probably the only real mistake he made. ... Then Cabrera comes up the next time and hits a three-run home run off of Novoa. So you're damned you do, you're damned you don't."

The Cubs took the early lead when Aramis Ramirez hit a two-run triple and scored on Matt Murton's sacrifice fly.

Cabrera put the Marlins ahead in the first with an RBI double off the scoreboard with two outs.

"He is a Hall of Fame pitcher. I liked how we were patient with him," Cabrera said. "He is going to throw a lot of strikes and he likes to throw on both sides of the plate to you to make a good pitch. But these guys swung the bat very good today. I think that was the key for us."

Game notes
After Chicago's Jacque Jones bunted for a hit in the second inning, two Florida players failed trying to do the same thing.
Jeremy Hermida was thrown out by catcher Michael Barrett and Olivo popped out to Barrett. ... Moehler went 0-for-2 at the plate, making him 0-for-19 this season and 3-for-86 in his career. ... Baker remained stuck at 1,114 career victories, one shy of Danny Murtaugh for 43rd on the all-time list. ... Maddux still needs one victory to catch Nolan Ryan and Don Sutton (324) for 13th on baseball s career list.