Marlins 4, Astros 3

BY foxsports • April 9, 2011

Hanley Ramirez was still in pain with a bruised left leg after Friday night's game against the Houston Astros.

Seeing his Florida Marlins teammates rally for a the 4-3 win after he left following a seventh-inning collision with Bill Hall made the All-Star shortstop feel a little better.

''The game was right there,'' he said. ''After I left the game, my teammates got a little fire. They did it for me. It feels good when your teammates have your back, and I respect that.''

Chris Coghlan homered and drove in two runs to back a solid outing by Ricky Nolasco (1-0), who allowed two runs in eight innings to spoil Houston's home opener.

''He was very efficient,'' Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said. ''Everything was working for him, breaking ball, changeup, fastball was going 92 to 94. He did an outstanding job. He made the pitches when he had to against good hitters. That was an outstanding job by Ricky.''

Leo Nunez allowed two hits, including a homer in the ninth, before pinch runner Jason Bourgeois was caught stealing to end the game and give Nunez his second save.

The injury to Ramirez occurred when Hall slid late and to the side of second base, leaving both players in the dirt. Hall finally got up while Ramirez remained down, writhing in pain and beating the ground with his fist as trainers came to check on him.

He did not put any weight on his left leg as he was helped off the field and to the dugout. Greg Dobbs went in at third base and Murphy moved to shortstop after Ramirez left the game.

''It's bruised right now, and that's it,'' Ramirez said. ''We're going to wait to see how I feel in the morning, and if I'm in a lot of pain, we're going to take X-rays.''

The bruise is on the side of his left shin, above the ankle.

''It was scary because he ended up in a very bad position,'' Rodriguez said. ''He came in hard. I thought at first it was the ankle that he might have hyperextended it.''

Logan Morrison's RBI double in the eighth tied the game for Florida, and Donnie Murphy's single sent home the go-ahead run later in the inning. Coghlan's solo shot came with two outs in the ninth and pushed the Marlins ahead 4-2.

J.R. Towles and Brett Wallace homered for the Astros, who have dropped six of seven to start the season. The pair had three hits apiece.

''Anytime they're able to put together a night like that, that's a big positive in the right direction for us,'' Houston manager Brad Mills said.

Wandy Rodriguez allowed eight hits and one run in seven innings for Houston. Wilton Lopez (0-1) gave up two runs and four hits in the eighth inning for the loss.

''Can't say enough about how he threw the ball,'' Mills said of Rodriguez. ''He was able to throw everything he had for strikes. He put us in a position to win the game, and for himself to win the game, as well. That was sure nice to see.''

Michael Bourn singled in the eighth and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt before stealing third base. Nolasco retired Hunter Pence and Carlos Lee to escape that jam.

The game was tied at 1-1 in the seventh before Chris Johnson's hit to shallow left field scored Wallace and put Houston up 2-1. Wallace doubled on a ball that bounced off the wall in left field to set up the score.

After the injury to Ramirez, Jason Michaels grounded into a force out to end the inning.

Brett Hayes, who finished with two doubles, made it 1-1 when he scored after Coghlan grounded into a force out in the seventh inning. The Astros got out of that inning when Coghlan was caught stealing.

Hayes got on with a double before Nolasco singled to left field. Nolasco's hit bounced off the wall in left field and Lee had trouble picking it up, bending down three times before getting hold of the ball.

Towles had a solo homer to the Crawford Boxes in left field gave Houston a 1-0 lead in the third inning and Wallace's shot came in the ninth.

Gaby Sanchez singled before reaching second on an error by Johnson when he overthrew first base with no outs in the second inning. Rodriguez hit Murphy with a pitch with one out but the Marlins left the inning empty-handed when the Astros turned a double play.

Lee was shaken up when he crashed into the left field wall grabbing a fly ball hit from leadoff hitter Coghlan in the first inning. He fell to his knees and remained there for a couple of minutes while Bourn and a trainer checked on him. He finally got up and was able to remain in the game.

NOTES: Astros SS Clint Barmes, on the DL with a broken left hand, was cleared to play catch and swing Friday after X-rays revealed that his hand was healing. ... Rodriguez is hoping RF Mike Stanton returns Saturday after missing his sixth consecutive start with a strained hamstring. ''He's getting better and better every day,'' Rodriguez said.

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