MIAMI (AP) - The Houston Astros reached a new low in their woeful season.
The team with baseball's worst record staggered into the All-Star break by losing Sunday at Florida, 5-4. The Astros were swept in a four-game series for the first time since May 2007.
``Enjoy your break, everybody,' Houston outfielder Michael Bourn said. ``We know we haven't been playing well. We needed this break. It's come at the right time because we need to clear our heads.'
The Astros (30-62) have lost nine of 10, and 14 of 16 overall.
``We've been battling uphill all the time,' manager Brad Mills said. ``We have to find a way to stay on top once we get on top.'
Houston had early leads of 2-0 and 3-1. But Mike Cameron hit a two-run homer in the fourth, when the Marlins scored four times off Wandy Rodriguez (6-6) and took the lead for good.
``I hung a few breaking balls,' said Rodriguez, whose ERA rose to 3.52. ``I need to make better (pitches) in the second half than I did the first half.'
All-Star Hunter Pence hit his 11th homer, Carlos Corporan doubled twice and Brett Wallace had two hits and two RBIs. But scoring enough runs has been a problem all season for the Astros, who rank last in the NL in ERA.
``We have to find a way to keep those leads,' Mills said.
Thanks to their comeback, the Marlins head into the break with a season-best five-game winning streak, all since the 38-year-old Cameron arrived via a trade with the Boston Red Sox.
Cameron batted only .149 in Boston and is 1 for 10 with Florida. But he grinned when asked if he has played a role in the winning streak.
``Maybe it's a little bit of karma - me being around so long and being enthusiastic with the guys and keeping them positive,' he said. ``It feels like home.'
The erratic Marlins are only five games below .500 (43-48) despite a streak last month of 19 losses in 20 games. The four-game sweep was the first for Florida since May 2010 against the Mets.
Manager Jack McKeon said he was sorry about the timing of the All-Star break.
``I hate to see it show up, but that's the way it goes,' he said. ``We're going good, and everybody is in a great mental state. The train is moving north.'
Emilio Bonifacio, a catalyst in Florida's recent surge, had three hits and extended his career-best hitting streak to 12 games. He stole three bases and scored twice.
All-Star Gaby Sanchez drove in two runs. Chris Volstad (5-8) allowed three runs in six innings, and Leo Nunez pitched a perfect ninth for his 25th save in 28 chances.
Rodriguez was nursing a two-run lead when Cameron homered. John Buck and Bonifacio kept the inning going with singles. Omar Infante's sacrifice fly put Florida ahead to stay, and Sanchez followed with a two-out RBI double.
Rodriguez departed after allowing five runs in 5 1-3 innings.
``That Mike Cameron home run took him out of his game a little bit,' Corporan said.
Rodriguez walked five, and the Astros gave up 21 free passes in the series.
``It kind of leads us into the situation we're in right now,' Mills said.
NOTES: Astros 2B Matt Downs had one hit while batting cleanup for the first time this season. ... Bonifacio improved his average against left-handers to .342. ... The Astros are 3-14 in Miami since the start of 2007. They're 4-16 when Corporan starts at catcher.
The Associated Press News Service
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