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Zambrano’s Strong Pitching Lifts Marlins Over Indians, 3-2

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CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 18: Jose Reyes #7 celebrates with Bryan Petersen #11 of the Miami Marlins after Petersen scored during the eighth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 18, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND, OH – MAY 18: Jose Reyes #7 celebrates with Bryan Petersen #11 of the Miami Marlins after Petersen scored during the eighth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 18, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

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Miami Marlins

CLEVELAND (AP) — Carlos Zambrano pitched seven strong innings to help the Miami Marlins open interleague play by beating the Cleveland Indians 3-2 Friday night.

Miami broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Hanley Ramirez. All three Marlins runs were scored by batters who had started rallies with walks.

Zambrano (2-2) gave up four hits and two runs as he continued a strong first season in Miami after 11 years with the Chicago Cubs. The right-hander has a 1.96 ERA in eight starts since being acquired in a January trade.

Heath Bell worked the ninth for his fourth save in eight chances.

Reliever Tony Sipp (0-2) took the loss as Cleveland had a four-game winning streak broken.

Marlins center fielder Emilio Bonifacio left with a strained left thumb in the fifth inning.

Indians starter Justin Masterson, aware that Bonifacio was 20 for 20 in steals this season, threw over to first base four times to keep the speedy runner close. On one of the pickoff attempts, Bonifacio appeared to jam his hand as he dove back to the base. He then was thrown out by catcher Carlos Santana.

Bryan Petersen opened the Miami eighth with a walk off Sipp and was bunted to second by Jose Reyes. Right-hander Joe Smith came on and got Omar Infante to hit a bouncer back to him. Smith whirled and threw to second, trying to get Petersen, but the ball hit the runner and rolled into right field for an error, putting Marlins on first and third.

Ramirez then flied out to center, scoring Petersen for the second time. Petersen also walked to open the third inning against Indians starter Justin Masterson, was singled to third by Reyes and scored when Infante’s ground ball forced out Reyes at second.

Cleveland took a 2-0 lead off Zambrano in the second.

Johnny Damon drew a two-out walk and scored all the way from first on Casey Kotchman’s double just inside the first-base line. After Jose Lopez walked, Shin-Soo Choo singled home Kotchman for a 2-0 lead.

The Marlins tied it at 2 in the sixth. Infante walked, was doubled to third by Greg Dobbs and scored on a sacrifice fly by Giancarlo Stanton.

Masterson gave up two runs and six hits over seven innings, bouncing back from a poor start Sunday in Boston when he gave up six runs over six innings of a 12-1 loss to the Red Sox.

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