Marlins commit five errors as Pirates take 7-2 victory


• Summary: Shawn Chacon pitched five innings of shutout baseball, allowing two hits and striking out three, but the Pirates benefited the most from the Marlins' five errors. Four of the errors happened in the first four innings and led to three unearned runs for Pittsburgh.


height=90 align=right alt="Shawn Chacon">



• Heroes: Aside from the Marlins' miscues, Ronny Paulino was 1-for-3 with three RBIs and scored a run. Freddy Sanchez was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

• Figure this: The Pirates won for the second time in their last seven games against the Marlins. The Marlins have lost 10 of their last 13 games.

• Figure this II: Paulino has six RBIs in his last four games.

• Interleague look-ahead: The Marlins play a three-game series against the Devil Rays. Florida leads the series, 30-19, but Tampa Bay won four of six games last season. The Devil Rays swept the Marlins in a three-game series at Tropicana Field last season.

• Quotable: "We just kicked it around and you can't do that. You keep putting people on base and something bad is going to happen." -- Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez

-- news services

Pittsburgh 7, Florida 2

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The Pirates Pirates had only six hits, watched their starter last only three innings and committed two errors. But they were the much better team at PNC Park on Thursday night.

The Pirates tied a team record with four sacrifice flies and took advantage of a record-tying five Florida Marlins errors for a 7-2 victory in front of an announced crowd of 9,582.

"We just kicked it around and you can't do that," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "You keep putting people on base and something bad is going to happen."

Ronny Paulino had three RBIs and Shawn Chacon pitched five shutout innings out of the bullpen for the Pirates, who earned a split of the four-game series.

"Walks and sac flies and all that kind of stuff -- stuff that we characteristically do a lot of -- it's nice to do that and get a win," said the Pirates' Jason Bay, who scored twice after reaching on Miguel Cabrera errors. "We've had chances in numerous games before and not [scored enough]. Offensively, we didn't have a breakout game, but it's nice to put up seven runs some way."

The Pirates tied a club record set Sept. 9, 1988, against Philadelphia with four sacrifice flies. The Marlins tied a club record for errors.

"When a team makes errors, you need to take advantage and we did," Paulino said. "That's a good way to win a game."

Hanley Ramirez and Jeremy Hermida each had two hits for Florida, which had a two-game winning streak snapped and committed five errors in a game for the first time since July 25, 2000. It was the third time the Marlins committed five errors in a game.

Paulino, Chris Duffy, Jose Castillo and Bay had sacrifice flies for the Pirates.

"Situational at-bats, you have to do that," Pittsburgh manager Jim Tracy said. "That's something that early in the season we missed on some of those opportunities. You've got to capitalize on those situations, you have to do that."

Four of Florida's errors occurred in the first four innings -- leading to three unearned runs for Pittsburgh.

The first came in the second inning off Florida starter Ricky Nolasco when Bay reached on Cabrera's first error and scored on Paulino's sacrifice fly.

That came after Florida scored a run in the first on a single, two walks and a hit batter. Pittsburgh starter Tony Armas walked Hermida with the bases loaded to score Dan Uggla.

After Cabrera's RBI double in the third scored Ramirez to make it 2-1, Armas was pulled for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the inning. He allowed two runs on three hits with three walks and a hit batter in three innings.

Pirates manager Jim Tracy said earlier in the week that Armas' spot in the rotation was on the line in this outing. His ERA dropped from 8.76 to 8.46.

"I think it's better served to talk about that tomorrow," Tracy said when asked about the status of Armas. "Let's enjoy the game we just won."

If Armas is removed from the rotation, Chacon (1-0) is a prime candidate to replace him. Chacon allowed only two hits and no walks in working the third through eighth innings. He needed 70 pitches -- seven less than Armas threw in his three innings.

"The job Shawn Chacon did tonight was terrific," Tracy said. "He located extremely well tonight. His pitches had life. He had great life down in the zone."

"It's no secret that he's been struggling," Chacon said of Armas. "I feel for him. Nobody wants him to struggle; he's a big part of this team. But I think everybody else understands that that spot is also a big part of this team. Whatever happens, whatever's decided, I hope he turns it around either way."

The Pirates supported Chacon immediately by scoring four runs in the bottom of the fourth. Two of those were unearned as a result of three Florida errors -- two of which were charged to shortstop Ramirez during one play.

Pittsburgh loaded the bases without a hit, and Paulino singled home Adam LaRoche and Bay. Castillo followed with a sacrifice fly to score Ryan Doumit.

Nolasco (1-2) allowed four hits and three walks while striking out one in five innings.

"It's my job to try and pick up my teammates and I wasn't able to do that and come up with a couple of outs here or there," Nolasco said. "It just wasn't our night tonight."

Game notes
Armas has pitched more than five innings only once this season and failed to last more than four in four of his seven starts. ... Florida entered the game ranked 13th in the National League in fielding percentage. ... The Marlins' bullpen has pitched 149 innings this season and had led the majors in that category heading into the game. ... Cabrera is 8-for-12 lifetime against Armas.