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ARI@FLA: Duke cranks a two-run homer to right

MIAMI -- When they jumped out to an early 9-0 lead, it's hard to believe that the D-backs thought they would have to use their closer to finish things off.

Yet an impressive comeback by the Marlins forced the D-backs to bring on J.J. Putz to close out a 12-9 win in front of 15,065 at Sun Life Stadium.

"It was just one of those games," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said.

With the win, the D-backs took three of four from the Marlins and finished their road trip with a 4-3 mark.

The start of the game was delayed by 16 minutes due to expected rain that never showed up. When it got started, it was Arizona's bats that provided the thunder.

Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco barely got settled on the mound before the D-backs started putting runs up on the board.

The first four men reached base for Arizona, and all came around to score, including three on Miguel Montero's double to right-center, to give the D-backs a 4-0 lead.

"I was looking for a fastball first pitch," said Montero, who finished the night with three doubles. "I kind of had an idea. They've been throwing me in first pitch for the entire season. I went out there and was looking for the fastball middle, middle in."

Things would only get worse for Nolasco in the third, as the D-backs sent 10 men to the plate and scored another five runs to go up 9-0.

"We got on him pretty early," Montero said. "To be honest, I don't think Nolasco was feeling good today. I know he's better than that. Fortunately we got him early."

Said Nolasco, "I would've liked to keep going just to try and find something, but I understand that's a lot of pitches in three innings, and we've got to give ourselves some sort of chance, and tonight I wasn't doing that. Just forget about tonight."  

Arizona starter Zach Duke would probably go along with that.

The left-hander, who homered in the third inning, could not handle the riches of runs, though, as he allowed a three spot to the Marlins in the bottom of the inning.

The Arizona offense got those runs back for him in the fourth, but Duke could not seem to get the job done as he allowed one run in the fourth and another three in the fifth before leaving with two outs. Because he did not finish five innings, Duke did not qualify for the win.

"He didn't have it tonight," Gibson said. "That's the way it goes. I stuck with him as long as I could. He feels bad. I said, 'Don't feel bad about it, we won the game.'"

Duke said his main problem Monday was with his location.

"It's a bad performance by me," he said. "I wasn't able to get us through six, seven innings, which is what you want to do in that situation. I just was too inconsistent and got into too many hitter's counts and they were able to get hits."

Nolasco (4-2) wound up allowing nine runs (five earned) on eight hits and four walks while striking out three over three innings.

After he departed the game, the Marlins began to chip away at the D-backs' 12-3 lead.

It started with a run in the fourth and three more in the fifth against Duke, but continued with two more off reliever Bryan Shaw in the eighth.

Suddenly it was 12-9, and Gibson had to go to Putz to nail things down.

"We started out good," Gibson said. "It turned into one of those games. Give them credit, they pressured the daylights out of us." Comments