Astros-Marlins Preview

BY foxsports • April 15, 2012

Ozzie Guillen is having a hard time watching the Miami Marlins from afar.

Looking to bounce back from a late collapse in their last game, the Marlins play their final contest without their manager Sunday against the visiting Houston Astros.

Serving a five-game suspension for his comments about former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, Guillen told interim Miami manager Joey Cora that he suffered a headache while watching the Marlins (3-6) beat Houston 5-4 in 11 innings on Friday, Florida's first win in its new ballpark.

"He wants to be here badly," Cora said of Guillen, who will return for Tuesday's game against the Chicago Cubs.

Guillen might have been ready to pull out his hair Saturday if he watched the Marlins blow a three-run ninth-inning lead and lose 5-4 to the Astros. Carlos Lee drove in the tying run with a two-out single off struggling Miami closer Heath Bell, and an error by left fielder Logan Morrison allowed the go-ahead run to score as the Astros (4-4) snapped a three-game skid.

Miami committed three errors in the ninth while Bell blew his second save in as many chances for his new team. He's allowed six runs - four earned - and eight hits in three innings over four appearances for the Marlins.

"It's a tough one to swallow,'' Cora said. "It got a little sloppy at the end.''

The Marlins' shoddy play also opened the door for Houston to snap a five-game road skid in south Florida.

Lee had three hits and two RBIs while Miami native J.D. Martinez delivered an RBI single in the ninth to give him a hit in all eight games this season. Martinez is batting .379 with three homers and nine RBIs.

"We're a scrappy ballclub,'' said former Houston starter turned closer Brett Myers, who pitched a perfect bottom of the ninth for his second save. "This is something we didn't do last year. We'd go out there and feel like we didn't have a chance.''

After scoring a run off Carlos Zambrano in the first inning, Houston was held in check until the ninth. The Astros could face another stiff challenge Sunday Marlins starter Anibal Sanchez.

The right-hander allowed two runs in 6 1-3 innings of a 6-2 win at Philadelphia on Monday.

With the additions of Mark Buehrle and Zambrano, plus some shoulder problems he endured in spring training, Sanchez is content in his role as the team's No. 5 starter.

"I don't care if I'm first of fifth, we have a good rotation,'' Sanchez said. "I'm glad to be in it.''

He should be glad to face the Astros, a team he's gone 3-1 with a 2.37 ERA against in five career starts.

Houston counters with J.A. Happ, who yielded three runs and struck out five in six innings of an 8-3 victory over Atlanta on Monday. He also drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI single in the fourth inning.

The left-hander is 2-2 with a 3.49 ERA in five starts against the Marlins.

Hanley Ramirez had three hits and an RBI on Saturday for Miami, which scored all its runs in the first three innings. Despite the loss, Ramirez's performance was a positive after the All-Star went 4 for 30 with eight strikeouts in the first eight games.

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