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Fish Wrap: Marlins 9, Pirates 5

If you start them, they will sweep.

Or, something to that effect.

Thanks to a great showing from a few of our reserves, and a sudden onslaught of the long ball, the Marlins completed their first sweep of the season Thursday night at Sun Life Stadium, topping the Pirates 9-5.

It was a great night offensively for the Marlins' six-eight hitters, two of whom don't often make it into the starting lineup. Cousins, Hayes and Stanton all went deep to provide 8 of the Marlins 9 runs in the game, and deliver Chris Volstad his first win of the season.

James McDonald wasn't fooling the Fish in the least, and they managed 8 runs off the starter in three innings before he was yanked in favor of the bullpen. 

In the Marlins' five-run second inning, the Fish loaded up the bases on two walks and a single, and Scott Cousins launched the first pitch he saw into the right field seats. The grand slam was Scott's first Major League home run, and gave the Marlins a 4-1 lead. With the blast, Cousins became the seventh Marlin to hit a grand slam as his first Big League long ball. 

The Marlins added three more runs in the third, once again via the long ball, and once again from a guy who is normally riding the bench around that time of the game. Brett Hayes hit a three run shot, his first home run of 2011, to give the Fish a seven-run lead.

The moment that many have been sitting on the edge of their seats for finally happened in the fifth inning. (Exhale.) Mike Stanton must have become inspired by the other two "first home runs," because he finally hit his own first of the season, a homer off of Michael Crotta in the bottom of the fifth to make it 9-2, Marlins.

Chris Volstad held the Pirates to two runs through five innings, but struggled in the sixth, loading up the bases on a single and two walks. With a seven-run advantage, it would have been nice to see Vols try and work his way out of the jam, but Edwin had other plans, and a call to the bullpen was in order. After Randy Choate and Ryan Webb allowed all three inherited runners to score, Volstad finished the night with 5 ER on 4 hits and 3 walks, with 5 strikeouts. 

The bullpens traded zeros for the next three innings, and Leo Nunez closed it out to secure the Marlins sweep, and 11th win of the season.

Nice start to the homestand.