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Recap: Astros , Marlins
 •  BT Movements
Game: 1
Venue: Sun Life Stadium
Date: July 07, 2011 7:10 PM EDT

MIAMI (AP) - J.A. Happ is mired in the longest drought of his career.

Following a 5-0 loss to the Florida Marlins on Thursday night, the Houston Astros left-hander dropped to 3-11 on the season, losing his career-worst seventh straight decision.

His last win came on May 14, against the New York Mets.


``I'm just frustrated right now,' he said.

Happ issued a career-high seven walks in 5 2-3 innings while allowing five runs and five hits. He struck out eight.

``When you look at where they did the damage, definitely I'd like to throw more strikes and keep the walks down,' Happ said.

He will have a few extra days to ponder his performance with the All-Star break starting Monday.

``To be honest with you I don't even want a break, but we have it and I'm going to take it and try to get away for a little bit,' Happ said.

Brad Hand pitched seven scoreless innings to earn his first major league victory and Mike Stanton hit a two-run homer off Happ to carry the Marlins to their sixth win in nine games.

Hand (1-3), a 21-year old rookie left-hander, pitched seven innings allowing just two hits, but was optioned to Double-A Jacksonville after the game. He lowered his ERA to 2.77 in five starts.

``That's all he can do is pitch well when he's here and trust me, it's been noticed what he can do for us,' catcher John Buck said. ``I've been vocal about it.'

Hand received the news from manager Jack McKeon after the game.

``I feel I belong up here and hope I stay up here one time,' Hand said.

Hand had his longest outing and held the Astros without a hit until one out in the fifth when Clint Barmes singled to center.

``I'm very pleased with my performance,' said Hand, who struck out four and walked three.

Logan Morrison drove in two runs and Emilio Bonifacio had three hits for the Marlins.

``We are starting to look and feel like our old selves,' Stanton said. ``We got in that big funk as we all know, but it takes little by little and games like these to help us get back on track.'

The Astros, who tied a season-low with three hits, have lost six of seven. It was the fourth time they have been shut out this season.

``We had a couple of first-pitch outs to lead off innings against a guy who had struggled with his command, but at the same time, you have to say (Hand) was pitching pretty well,' Astros manager Brad Mills said.

Stanton's two-run homer - his 18th - to deep left-center field came in his first at-bat since his walkoff homer in the 10th inning on Wednesday against Philadelphia. He had been homerless in his previous 20 games.

``Let's not get carried away because he hits a couple home runs,' McKeon said. ``I'd like to see him mix in a few line drives too, not just go up there and center on hitting home runs. There's a lot of opportunities to win ballgames with singles, doubles, and we love home runs, but they're not necessary.'

Morrison stretched the lead to 4-0 in the fifth with a two-run double just beyond a diving Jason Michaels in left.

``Jay Mi gave a great effort on that ball to left field but he wasn't able to come up with it,' Mills said.

Omar Infante singled in a run in the sixth to add to the lead.

Notes: Marlins CF Mike Cameron started his first game since being acquired from Boston earlier this week. Cameron went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts. ... Bonifacio stole his seventh base in his last nine games. ... Astros RF Hunter Pence went 0 for 3 snapping an 11-game hitting streak.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2016
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

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