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Marlins Win; Castillo Gets Hit

June 19, 2002

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MIAMI (AP) _ Luis Castillo went 3-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 32 games, longest in the major leagues in 15 years, and Florida beat Cleveland 4-0 Tuesday night in their first meeting since the 1997 World Series.

Ryan Dempster (5-6) allowed four hits in 6 1-3 innings before being ejected after he hit a batter for the second time. Manager Jeff Torborg was also thrown out.

Derrek Lee hit a two-run homer, his 15th.

Castillo was retired on a bunt attempt leading off the first, then doubled with two outs in the third. He topped a 3-1 pitch from Chuck Finley (4-8) into the infield grass, and it bounded over third baseman Travis Fryman’s head on one hop.

Castillo reached second without a play and scored on Eric Owens’ two-out single to make it 1-0. He hit another double off the third-base bag in the fifth, singled in the seventh and hiked his average to .336.

The speedy second baseman is the 18th player to hit in at least 32 games in a row, and just the fourth since 1949. His streak is the longest since Benito Santiago hit in 34 games in a row in 1987. Paul Molitor had a 39-game streak earlier that season.

Castillo nearly had a 4-for-4 night. When he bunted in the first, Finley fielded the ball on the run toward first base and shoveled the ball with his glove to Jim Thome, who caught the throw barehanded to barely beat Castillo.

Despite the streak, the game drew just 9,724 fans, 57,480 fewer than for Game 7 of the 1997 World Series. Only four players who took part in that Series are on the active roster for the same teams now _ Cliff Floyd and Charles Johnson of Florida, and Thome and Omar Vizquel of Cleveland.

Cleveland’s Matt Lawton left the game in the sixth inning with a bruised right thigh after being hit by a pitch. Finley hit Mike Lowell on the left hand to start the bottom of the inning, and both teams were warned by plate umpire Jerry Layne.

When Dempster hit Fryman in the back with a 1-2 pitch leading off the seventh, he and Torborg were ejected.

Braden Looper pitched two perfect innings, and Vladimir Nunez finished the four-hitter.

Marlins starters have given up one run in 29 innings over the past four games.

The Indians’ best threat came in the fourth, when they loaded the bases before Fryman was called out on strikes. Cleveland is batting .194 (12-for-62) with the bases loaded.

Finley allowed six hits and one run in five innings. David Riske hit Lowell to start the sixth, and Lee followed with a homer.

Lee doubled in the eighth and later scored on Andy Fox’s sacrifice fly.

The Indians snapped Joe DiMaggio’s record 56-game hitting streak in 1941, but they couldn’t stop Castillo. He totaled at least three hits in a game for the 12th time this season, most in the National League.

Castillo is within one game of matching the longest hitting streak by a second baseman. Rogers Hornsby hit in 33 consecutive games in 1922.

Notes: Despite the streak, Castillo doesn’t rank among the top five NL second basemen in All-Star voting. ... The Indians fell to 2-3 in Miami, where they split four games in the ’97 Series. ... Finley bunted into a rare 5-6-4 double play in the fifth.

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