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Braves blow lead, top Marlins in extras

Jun 9, 2011 - 4:17 AM Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Freddie Freeman's one-out, RBI single in the top of the 10th handed the Atlanta Braves a thrilling 3-2 victory over the Florida Marlins in the second of a three-game set from Sun Life Stadium.

With runners on first and second, Freeman ripped a grounder up the middle, allowing Chipper Jones to score the decisive run.

The Marlins, who have dropped seven straight for the first time since April, 2009, tied the game just a half-inning earlier to force extras.

Trailing 2-0 and down to their final strike, the Marlins brought two across the plate courtesy of a Mike Stanton single to right. Stanton began the game on the bench due to a recent 1-for-14 slump.

Florida again threatened in the bottom of the 10th, as Scott Proctor allowed runners to reach first and second with one down.

The Braves bullpen prevailed, however, as George Sherrill spelled Proctor to down Greg Dobbs on three pitches and Scott Linebrink struck out Gaby Sanchez to earn his first save since 2009.

Craig Kimbrel (2-2) suffered his fifth blown save of the season, but did earn the win for Atlanta.

Despite recording their second straight win and fourth in their last six games, the Braves spoiled a stellar outing from Derek Lowe, who took a no- hitter into the seventh and worked 6 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and two walks while striking out five.

Michael Dunn (4-4) took the loss after allowing Freeman's game-winning RBI.

The game began with a Jordan Schafer single to right. Alex Gonzalez followed with a long fly to left-center, but perhaps a harbinger of the dramatics to follow, Chris Coghlan made a spectacular play on the ball, pursuing the fly with fervor and hurling himself into the air to make the catch over his left shoulder.

The highlight snare would be in vain, however, as Schafer stole second and scored on Brian McCann's single two batters later.

The Braves made it 2-0 in the fifth, as Schafer ripped a two-out triple into left-center and crossed the plate on Gonzalez's single back through the box.

Ricky Nolasco would allow just two runs on eight hits over 7 1/3 innings while striking out five, but his solid performance was overshadowed by the brilliance of Lowe.

"His ball was darting all over the place," McCann said of Lowe. "His changeup was great and his location was where it needed to be. When he pitches in the zone and gets that kind of movement, you're gonna get a lot of ground balls."

With one out in the seventh, Dobbs finally broke up Lowe's no-hit bid with a seeing-eye single up the middle. Sanchez followed with a single to left and after a Logan Morrison groundout, John Buck worked a four-pitch walk to load the bases and chase Lowe from the contest.

Eric O'Flaherty then allowed Stanton to work the count full before blowing a fastball by the pinch-hitter.

Kimbrel began the ninth in predictably dominant fashion, striking out Dobbs and Sanchez in succession. Even after allowing runners to reach second and third, Kimbrel, whose 18 first-half saves mark a NL rookie record, appeared in control as he went ahead 0-2 on Stanton. Despite his recent struggles, Stanton was unshaken, hitting a 1-2 fastball up the first base line and into right field. Morrison scored easily and Buck crossed the plate as Joe Mather's throw home escaped to the backstop.

"For the same reason that we were winning those ball games earlier in the season -- because we were executing -- those are the same reasons we are losing these games," said Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez. "We're not executing."

Game Notes

On Tuesday, Kimbrel extended his NL rookie record for saves before the All-Star Break to 18. The major league first-half rookie record is 26 saves, set by Boston's Jonathan Papelbon in 2006...Coghlan has a 22-game hit streak against Atlanta...Stanton made his major league debut a year ago on this date...The Braves are 24-7 when they score first this season and just 10-21 when their opponent crosses the plate first.