Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – All it took for the Miami Marlins to get in the groove was a West Coast road trip. The Marlins continued their winning ways Monday with a 4-0 victory over the Houston Astros. The win was Miami’s seventh straight and kept them undefeated in May.
The Marlins were led by pitcher Carlos Zambrano, who pitched a 3 hit shutout; and by Giancarlo Stanton who extended his 10 game hitting streak when he went yard with one man on base.
Zambrano has been a revelation for the Marlins who gave him a fresh start after his very public meltdown with the Chicago Cubs late last season.
Entering the game, the three-time All-Star pitcher had an ERA of 2.54. By the end of the game, he had a 1.98 ERA and walked away with his first win of the season.
“Now I’m pitching smiling because God is in my heart,” Zambrano said. “When God is in your heart … nothing is frustrating, nothing can bother you.”
Stanton’s homer put Miami up 2-0 in the fourth inning. He now has six home runs and 12 RBI’s during his hitting streak.
Catcher John Buck extended the lead to 3-0 with a solo shot in the fifth inning. Hanley Ramirez also tacked on a home to finish off the scoring.
Zambrano struck out nine in the game and never allowed a batter past first base. He walked one and hit two batters.
Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said Zambrano’s success was simple, he just kept throwing strikes.
“Everything was under control. The split finger was effective, his fastball was coming out of his hands very well and command. When Carlos commands it is very good.”
The remaining issue for the Marlins to deal with is the closer role.
Guillen said he hopes after being demoted from the closer’s role last week that Heath Bell can return to the job soon.
“We’re a better ball club if Bell is our closer,” Guillen said. “That’s no doubt and we need him to be our closer.