Marlins 9, Reds 5

It’s going to take more than one swing for Hanley Ramirez to

feel as though his slump is over.

Ramirez hit his first home run of the season and the Florida

Marlins went deep a season-high five times Sunday in a 9-5 victory

over the Cincinnati Reds.

John Buck homered to snap a seventh-inning tie. Greg Dobbs, Mike

Stanton and Emilio Bonifacio also connected for the Marlins, who

have won eight of 11.

”It feels good to get the first one, but I really want my

timing back,” said Ramirez, who had an awful April.

His manager wasn’t worried, and never gave a thought to moving

him out of the third spot in the batting order.

”I’m not concerned about his numbers,” Edwin Rodriguez said.

”I am more concerned with how he is handling the slump. I know the

numbers will be there. So far, he’s handled it well.”

Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips homered for the Reds.

Buck followed Dobbs’ leadoff single with his third home run of

the season and second of the series, giving the Marlins the lead in

a game in which all of Florida’s runs came on homers. Buck, who

finished with three hits, had a three-run shot in the first inning

of Florida’s 7-6 win on Friday.

Reds starter Bronson Arroyo (3-3) allowed a season-high three

home runs. The right-hander gave up seven hits in seven innings

while falling to 1-3 in his last four starts. He is 0-3 in 10

career appearances against the Marlins.

”It was really disappointing when they get the lead and you tie

it, then you give them the lead again,” Arroyo said. ”The ball is

really carrying well here now.”

Florida right-hander Ricky Nolasco (3-0) allowed three runs and

six hits in seven innings to help the Marlins take two of three in

the series. He struck out five and walked one.

Nolasco is 31-22 in 57 starts following a Marlins loss.

”It’s great for us to bounce back,” he said. ”You have to tip

your cap to our hitters. They put up a ton of runs.”

Cincinnati scored two in the ninth on pinch-hitter Chris

Heisey’s bases-loaded double. Leo Nunez got two outs for his ninth

save in nine tries.

Ramirez started the flurry of homers with a two-run shot on an

0-1 pitch with one out in the first inning. The 384-foot drive into

the left-field seats was his first homer since Sept. 6 – including

spring training.

”We couldn’t keep the ball in the ballpark,” Cincinnati

manager Dusty Baker said. ”We need to find a way to keep it in the

ballpark.”

Bruce tied the game in the bottom of the first with his fifth

homer of the season and second of the series, a 379-foot fly into

the right-center seats. Bruce hit a solo home run in the first

inning on Friday.

Joey Votto followed by drawing a walk, extending to 28 his major

league-leading streak of consecutive games reaching base at least

once with a hit, walk or being hit by a pitch. He is six away from

tying the club record of 34 games to start a season, set by Dave

Collins in 1981.

The Marlins regained the lead at 3-2 with Dobbs’ leadoff homer

in the second, a 429-foot shot halfway up the right-field seats.

The homer, one of Dobbs’ three hits, was his second of the season

and first since April 9 at Houston.

The Reds tied the score again on Phillips’ fourth homer, an

opposite-field drive into the right-field seats with one out in the

sixth.

The Marlins broke the game open in the eighth, scoring four runs

off Cincinnati reliever Nick Masset with two outs. Stanton cracked

a 442-foot solo drive to center field, his third homer of the

season. After Dobbs walked and Buck singled, Bonifacio hit a

348-foot drive into the right-field seats – his first of the season

and the first of his two career homers to leave the park. His other

homer was an inside-the-park grand slam on opening day in 2009.

”The guys were laughing when I came to the dugout,” Bonifacio

said. ”I hit one in the winter league, but it’s much better to hit

one in the major leagues.”

The Marlins are 14-0 when they hit at least one home run.

Rodriguez praised his team’s ability to bounce back and win its

seventh series in nine chances.

”It shows the character of this team,” he said. ”Everyone has

been battling. Everyone has contributed. Now Bonifacio has as many

home runs as Hanley. He should take that to arbitration.”

NOTES: 2B Omar Infante returned to the Marlins’ starting lineup

after leaving Saturday’s game in the middle of the fifth inning

with cramps in both hamstrings. … Reds RHP Johnny Cueto needed 99

pitches to get through 4 2-3 innings of his rehab start Sunday with

Triple-A Louisville. Cueto allowed five hits and one earned run

with two walks and six strikeouts. … According to the Elias

Sports Bureau, Florida RHP Josh Johnson’s 18 hits allowed in 41

innings are the fewest by any pitcher with at least 40 innings

since 1900, one fewer than the 19 allowed by Nolan Ryan in 1978.

Johnson’s 0.88 ERA is the fourth-lowest of pitchers with at least

40 innings through the end of April since 1913, when earned runs

became an official statistic.