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Brewers filet Marlins relief pitcher

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June 4, 2009
— Hayden Penn pitched his way right off the Marlins’ roster.

The Florida reliever issued three bases-loaded walks Wednesday night and Ryan Braun homered to help the Milwaukee Brewers snap a five-game losing streak with a 9-6 win Wednesday night over the Marlins.


After the game, the Marlins announced that Penn would be designated for assignment on Thursday. Florida will have 10 days to trade, release or send Penn outright to the minors after making the move.


“I couldn’t get locked in at all,” Penn said. “Everything I tried to do wasn’t working. It’s a pretty helpless feeling when you can’t throw the ball over the plate.”


The Brewers scored six runs in the fifth inning, three on bases-loaded walks after Penn relieved rookie Sean West (0-3) with runners on first and second.


Seth McClung (3-1) pitched 3 1-3 innings of relief for a taxed Brewers bullpen, allowing only an eighth-inning homer by Dan Uggla. Trevor Hoffman pitched a perfect ninth for his 14th save in 14 chances this season.


A series of short outings by the last five starting pitchers has given Milwaukee relief issues of its own.


“It’s our job in the bullpen to come in and do what we’re asked to do and today I was asked to come in and put us in a position where we didn’t have to use everybody,” McClung said. “Being able to keep us rested in the bullpen is going to put us in a better situation.”


Milwaukee was up 3-1 going into the fifth. An error by shortstop Hanley Ramirez on Braun’s grounder followed by Prince Fielder’s one-out single put runners on first and second and chased West. A grounder by J.J. Hardy forced Braun at home for the second out and it seemed Penn might get out of the jam.


But Penn then walked three consecutive batters with the bases loaded, including starter Braden Looper.


He was relieved by Brian Sanches after getting to a 2-1 count on Corey Hart.


Hart reached on third baseman Emilio Bonifacio’s throwing error, which also scored the fourth run of the inning before Casey McGehee doubled home two runs for a 9-1 lead.


“That whole inning was real difficult,” Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said.


“West wasn’t real sharp but he kept us in the ballgame. You’re just trying to get two outs and not use four or five guys.”


Florida got four runs back in the bottom half on a throwing error by Looper, a double play, and singles by Bonifacio and Jorge Cantu. McClung came on and struck out Uggla with the bases loaded to end the inning.


Looper allowed five runs in 4 2-3 innings and was one out away from notching his fourth win in his last five starts.


“I’m not real happy about it right now. To be cruising as good as I was and have that happen is just inexcusable,” said Looper, who had an eight-run cushion to start the fifth. “I don’t know what happened. It’s all just a blur. Give them some credit, they hit some good pitches. Luckily, the guys scored a lot of runs and I didn’t cost us the game. To not get the win when we score nine runs is pretty frustrating.”


Braun hit a two-run homer in the third for a 3-0 lead. The Marlins made it 3-1 on Cantu’s solo home run in the fourth, the first hit of the game off Looper.



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