MIAMI (AP) - Road wins were a rarity last year for the Houston Astros, which made Saturday night's improbable comeback victory especially sweet.
Carlos Lee tied the game with a two-out RBI single, and an error by left fielder Logan Morrison allowed the go-ahead run to score as Houston rallied with four runs in the ninth inning to beat closer Heath Bell and the Miami Marlins 5-4.
``We're a scrappy ballclub,' said Brett Myers, who pitched a perfect ninth for his second save. ``This is something we didn't do last year. We'd go out there and feel like we didn't have a chance.'
The Astros, last in the majors in 2011 with a 25-56 road record, improved to 1-1 on their first trip of the year and won in Miami for the first time since 2010.
``It's just nice to see the guys keep battling,' manager Brad Mills said.
Bell, one of the Marlins' All-Star acquisitions in the offseason, took the mound with a 4-1 lead to start the ninth but had a shaky performance for the third time in as many outings this year.
``That's one of the best closers in the game,' Myers said. ``We went out there and battled as best we could and it ended up working out for us.'
The Astros had four hits in the inning and scored four times, taking advantage of three Miami errors.
The last miscue was by Morrison, who misjudged a slicing fly hit by Brian Bogusevic. Morrison staggered and fell as he tried to catch it, and the ball glanced off the heel of his glove, allowing a runner to score from third.
``It's a tough one to swallow,' Marlins interim manager Joey Cora said. ``It got a little sloppy at the end.'
Two of the runs in the ninth were unearned, but Bell took full responsibility.
``It's nobody's fault but mine,' he said.
Bell (0-2), booed when he departed after retiring only two of the seven batters he faced, blew a save for the second time in as many chances.
``It's just really hard to look at my teammates and them have confidence in me,' he said. ``I haven't showed that I can do it.'
Jose Altuve doubled with one out in the ninth to start Houston's comeback and went to third when center fielder Emilio Bonifacio bobbled the ball for an error. Pinch-hitter Travis Buck singled home a run, and Jordan Schafer reached on catcher's interference.
With two outs, J.D. Martinez hit an RBI single. Lee followed with a tying single on the first pitch.
The rally cost Carlos Zambrano his first win for the Marlins. He overcame six walks in six innings and left with a 4-1 lead.
``I'm not here to criticize my teammates,' he said. ``What happened, happened.'
Houston starter Bud Norris gave up four runs in six innings. Rhiner Cruz (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings.
Announced attendance in the Marlins' new 36,442-seat ballpark was 31,659, but for the second consecutive night there were about 10,000 empty seats. Fans are still waiting to see the animated home run sculpture in action, because the Marlins have yet to homer at home through three games.
Hitters are beginning to grumble that the fences are tough to reach, and that was again the case. With the retractable roof open, Hanley Ramirez hit a 400-foot flyout to center in the first inning. Houston's Jed Lowrie had a warning-track flyout in the third - the fifth in the series for the two teams.
``The wind was blowing,' said Martinez, the Houston left fielder. ``It was like a funnel out there. The ball Jed hit, that should have went way out.'
Norris conceded Ramirez's long fly worried him.
``In all honestly, I think Hanley's ball in the first inning is gone in a lot of parks,' he said.
NOTES: Omar Infante, tied for the NL lead in total bases, sat out with a sore groin but might return Sunday. ... For Astros broadcaster Milo Hamilton, Marlins Park is the 59th major league stadium from which he has worked. ... Lee made a leaping catch of a liner at first to rob Donnie Murphy of an RBI single in the third. ... Norris has an ERA of 6.51 in five career starts against the Marlins.
The Associated Press News Service
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