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MIAMI -- With six rookies in the starting lineup, the Marlins will experience their share of growing pains. The Padres added to Florida's frustrations, by pounding out a 9-3 victory Tuesday afternoon, foiling the home opener in front of 31,308.


Khalil Greene belted two home runs and drove in four, while Woody Williams was effective enough over five-plus innings to help hand the Marlins their fourth straight loss.


"Our guys are young and they are going to bounce back," first-year Marlins manager Joe Girardi said. "Young guys bounce back."


On a roster with 11 rookies, the Marlins at times are showing their inexperience. A case in point is the fifth and sixth innings.


Williams, a veteran pitcher, was able to retire the bottom three Marlins hitters on three pitches in the fifth inning. At the time, the Padres were leading, 2-1.


The final out came when Marlins starter Sergio Mitre grounded back to the mound.


The quick inning for the Padres immediately translated into a big top of the sixth inning for San Diego. Greene connected on a three-run homer in a 24-pitch inning for Mitre.


"You've got to learn how to play this game," Girardi said. "And a lot of our guys are being asked to learn this game at this level. That's what you have in young players. They are smart kids, they are going to learn."


There was a significance to Williams' three-pitch fifth inning. Through four innings, Williams had thrown 58 pitches. Mitre, meanwhile, had thrown 58 pitches through five innings, before the Padres' big sixth.


"I think what you do is you let the other pitcher off the hook, in a sense," Girardi said of Williams breezing through the fifth. "[Williams] and Serg were pitch count for pitch count. All of a sudden you look up and Serg has got 80 and he's got 60. Sometimes you get caught in trying to let them learn, and taking complete control."


Greene's second homer of the afternoon gave the Padres a 5-1 lead. A walk to Brian Giles and a single by Mike Piazza started the rally, and set up Greene's fifth career multi-homer game.


The Padres added on in the seventh inning with an unearned run when Brian Giles scored on Piazza's double to left. While running down the play, Josh Willingham booted the ball for an error, allowing Giles to score.


The Marlins used a pair of runs in the sixth to pull within two runs. Hanley Ramirez doubled and went to third on Jeremy Hermida's single to right. With runners on the corners, Miguel Cabrera laced an RBI double to left-center.


Williams was then lifted for reliever Alan Embree to face Mike Jacobs. In a lefty-lefty matchup, Jacobs hit a hard liner that Greene snagged with a leaping catch at shortstop. Greene was then able to double-up Cabrera at second base. Willingham delivered a run-scoring single to center.


Greene's defensive gem on Jacobs prevented a potential big inning for the Marlins.


"That happens. I like Miguel's aggressiveness," said Hermida, who scored in that inning. "If that ball sneaks over his head, [Cabrera] has got to score right there. He read it the way he should have, it just didn't turn out for us."


When the ball left his bat, Jacobs thought the ball would be over Greene's head.


"It was tough seeing off that lefty with the shadows and stuff," Jacobs said. "[Embree] obviously got it in on me, but I thought I had enough to get over his head. Greene made a good play.


"That's part of the game. We're going to have our good games and we're going to have our bad games. It's not something any of us haven't experienced before in the Minor Leagues or up here."


Some timely two-out hitting gave the Padres a 2-1 lead in the third inning. After Mitre, now 1-1, retired the first five batters he faced, Greene belted a solo home run to left-center. And in the third inning, Terrmel Sledge ripped an RBI single to center, scoring Josh Barfield from second.


"We've got to keep playing," said Mitre, who gave up five runs in six innings. "We've got to keep going hard and stay at it. Things will turn around. We can't hang our heads. We have to keep going at people."


The Marlins got off to a fast start. Ramirez opened the first inning with a triple. Williams almost worked out of it, but Willingham slapped a two-out RBI single to left. "I had a lead early in the game. I have to stick with that and carry it all the way through until the end of the game," Mitre said.








I bolded all the comments. :thumbup

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Comments are cool and I agree with all of them expcept this one:


"That happens. I like Miguel's aggressiveness," said Hermida, who scored in that inning. "If that ball sneaks over his head, [Cabrera] has got to score right there. He read it the way he should have, it just didn't turn out for us."


NO WAY Miggy needs to get doubled up there.. That play changed the GAME completly in my mind!! I was pissed yelling at Miggy from my seat..

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