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Monday July 12, 2001
Yankees 3 @ Marlins 9

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MIAMI (AP) -- Mike Mussina looked nothing like he did before the All-Star break, and neither did the Florida Marlins.

Luis Castillo, Mike Lowell and Kevin Millar drove in two runs apiece, and A.J. Burnett was effectively wild through six innings as the Marlins pounded Mussina and the New York Yankees 9-3 Thursday night.

"I would have been better off if I didn't pitch," said Mussina, who lost for the first time in six starts.

"It wouldn't have mattered if I would have gone out there left-handed. There are some days that no matter what you do or try you're not going to trick anybody. It seemed that everything I threw they still managed to hit."

Florida has won three of 12, while the Yankees lost for just the second time in 12 games.

Mussina (9-8) allowed 10 hits and eight runs in two-plus innings -- his shortest outing since 1996. He pitched to the first five batters in the third inning, allowing five hits before giving way to Randy Choate.

"He was too fat in the strike zone," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "He needed to get the ball down. He had too much of the plate for most of the night."

Mussina last pitched only two innings against the Yankees on Sept. 19, 1996, when he was with Baltimore.

"It's been a long time since I've been knocked out this early," Mussina said. "It happened, and hopefully it will be a long time before it happens again. It's a game that you want to forget, so I'll forget about it."

Bernie Williams also had a streak broken. He went 0-for-4, ending a stretch of 42 consecutive games in which he reached base safely. It was the longest active streak in the majors.

"My favorite player, too. Bernie Baseball," Burnett said. "That was a good streak."

Burnett (6-5) gave up two hits, three runs -- two earned -- and struck out six for his first victory in almost a month. He had three losses and a no-decision in his past four starts.

Burnett got away with being wild. He walked five and hit Chuck Knoblauch, knocking him out of the game with a bruised elbow in the third inning. Torre expects Knoblauch back in the lineup Saturday.

"One ball would be near your chin and the next one would be on the corner," shortstop Derek Jeter said.

Burnett threw 114 pitches, 68 strikes. Vladimir Nunez and Antonio Alfonseca combined on three scoreless innings of relief.

The Marlins scored three runs in the first and added six in the third. Cliff Floyd led off the third with a double -- the first of six consecutive hits -- and Lowell followed with an RBI single.

Derrek Lee, Charles Johnson and Alex Gonzalez had consecutive RBI singles, and Castillo capped the scoring with a two-run double.

"We swung the bats real well," Lowell said. "We took advantage of some pitches that were in our zone."

Knoblauch drew a walk to start the game and scored on Tino Martinez's groundout, giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead. But the Marlins answered with three runs in the bottom of the first.

"We had them on the ropes, but we didn't take advantage of it," Torre said. "You have to credit (Burnett) as much as blaming someone."

Lowell had an RBI single, scoring Castillo from second, and Millar followed with his eighth home run of the season, a two-run shot.

The Yankees added an unearned run in the fourth and scored without a hit in the sixth. Burnett walked Martinez and Jorge Posada. They moved up a base on Paul O'Neill's groundout, and Martinez scored on Scott Brosius' fly ball.

"By no means have we done anything," Lowell said. "All we did was win the first game of the series."

Game notes
Florida's six runs in the third inning was the most the club has scored in an inning this season. ... The Marlins activated utilityman Andy Fox from the 60-day disabled list and assigned the contract of INF-OF Ryan McGuire to Triple-A Calgary. ... A crowd of 32,629 showed up for the series opener, Florida's second biggest this season. Only Opening Day against Philadelphia drew more (36,146).