The Marlins are greatly relieved that they can't lose 100 games.
Rookie Vladimir Nunez pitched a career-best eight innings in his 12th start, stopping a personal four-game losing streak as Florida beat the Expos, 5-3, last night in Montreal.
Nunez (7-10), who hadn't won since Aug. 30 at St. Louis, allowed two runs on seven hits as the Marlins won their 63rd game, preventing a second straight 100-loss season.
"That's been a tremendous goal of ours," Florida Manager John Boles said. "It's the only goal we've had. This meant a lot. This is a tremendous, tremendous relief."
Nunez, who struck out five and walked one, hit an RBI single off Dustin Hermanson (9-14) in the sixth as the Marlins, owners of the worst record in the NL at 63-95, drew within two games of Montreal in their bid to escape the NL East cellar.
"If we did not win another game it would have been bitter, and it's something that would have gnawed at me all offseason and all of next year," Boles said.
Marlins left fielder Cliff Floyd acknowledged that the team felt it was important not to post a second straight 100-loss season.
"Skip made a big deal about it, we all made a big deal about it," Floyd said. "No one wanted to lose 100 games and I'm glad it's out of the way."
Antonio Alfonseca pitched the ninth for his 20th save in 24 opportunities.
Kevin Orie singled leading off the second, Mark Kotsay singled and Derrek Lee walked to load the bases.
Orie scored on Ramon Castro's fly to center and Kotsay also came home to make it 2-0 when shortstop Geoff Blum threw wildly for an error on his relay to second.
Florida added two more in the third to take a 4-0 lead as Floyd scored from third on a passed ball and Kotsay hit an RBI single.
Hermanson lost his second straight start to the Marlins after winning his four previous starts. Hermanson allowed five runs -- three earned -- and nine hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked two.
"It was just one of those games where I made some good pitches and they found ways to get hits," Hermanson said.
DIAMONDBACKS 9, ROCKIES 3: Steve Finley hit a pair of two-run homers and host Arizona matched its longest winning streak of the year at a club-record seven. Finley's 33rd and 34th home runs -- his seventh multihomer game of the season -- gave him a career-high 103 RBI. Vinny Castilla drove in both of the Rockies' runs with his 33rd homer, giving him 101 RBI. That made Arizona and Colorado the sixth and seventh teams in NL history to have four players with at least 100 RBI. Matt Williams, Jay Bell and Luis Gonzalez also have more than 100 RBI for the Diamondbacks. Dante Bichette, Larry Walker and Todd Helton each have topped 100 for the Rockies.
DODGERS 6, GIANTS 3: Chan Ho Park allowed three hits over six innings to win his seventh straight decision, and Gary Sheffield homered twice to lead visiting Los Angeles. Park (13-10) tied Kevin Brown for the longest winning streak by a Dodgers pitcher this season. The Dodgers have won eight of 10 and San Francisco is 2-8 in that span.
PADRES-CARDINALS, PPD.: The game in St. Louis was rained out and will be made up today as part of a twi-night doubleheader.
PIRATES-BREWERS, PPD.: The game in Milwaukee was rained out. It will be made up today as part of a doubleheader at County Stadium.