for this game

James shuts down Marlins as Braves cruise to victory

Sep 20, 2007 - 3:57 AM By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- The Atlanta Braves refuse to give up on their season.

Edgar Renteria continued his quest for the National League batting crown by homering and collecting three hits and Chuck James hurled seven spectacular innings to power the Braves to a 5-1 victory of the reeling Florida Marlins on Wednesday.

Atlanta (79-73) entered Wednesday on the fringe of the playoff race, trailing the struggling New York Mets (83-67) by 5 1/2 games in the National League East Division and also sitting 5 1/2 behind the surging San Diego Padres (83-67) in the race for the wild card.

But the Braves, who swept the Marlins and have won four straight, refuse to fold.

"Whenever you've won five of six, you're playing good baseball," Atlanta's Chipper Jones said. "It's a shame, this kind of baseball has been in us all along. It just hasn't shown up."

"We've been playing good baseball," Braves center fielder Andruw Jones added. "We've been going out there, having fun and playing good ball."

Renteria, who entered this one with the third-best average in the NL at .333, got the Braves on the board by smashing his 12th homer of the season off Florida starter Daniel Barone (1-3) in the first inning.

The 33-year-old Columbian, who is locked in a battle with teammate Chipper Jones and Colorado's Matt Holliday for the batting crown, finished with three hits to raise his average to .338.

"Renteria had an awesome night," Chipper Jones said. "Hopefully, we'll continue to get on base and maybe (the NL East race) will be nice and tight and will be decided on the last day (of the season)."

Renteria's homer was more than enough support for James (11-10).

The southpaw scattered two hits, walked one and struck out six in seven scoreless frames en route to improving to 3-1 with a 1.19 ERA in five career games against the Marlins.

"I felt awesome all night," James said. "I went out there and didn't think about anything mechanical. I didn't worry about mechanics and threw."

Florida's only real threat came in the third. Cody Ross led off the frame with a broken-bat single to left and advanced to second on Barone's sacrifice. But after Hanley Ramirez drew a two-out walk, James got Dan Uggla to hit into a forceout to end the inning.

The Marlins could not touch James after that, as he retired the next 11 batters he faced before surrendering a one-out single by Miguel Cabrera in the seventh. James threw 63-of-100 pitches for strikes to power the Braves to their first four-game winning streak since mid-July.

"You look at Chuck's outing, it was great," Chipper Jones said. "He's got shutout stuff. When he can keep hitters off-balance with a live fastball and a good changeup, and then mix in a slider here or there, he can be effective."

"The story is Chuck James," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He pitched seven innings. What are you going to do? We're packing our bags and heading for South Florida to play the Mets."

Mark Teixeira padded the Braves' lead in the first by smashing a two-run homer into the right field stands for his 13th as a Brave and 26th of the season.

Atlanta extended the advantage to 4-0 in the fifth on Chipper Jones' RBI single. The 35-year-old, who entered the night with the second-best average in the NL at .337, had two hits in four at-bats to raise his average to .339.

Andruw Jones capped the Braves' scoring by smashing his 26th homer into the left-center field bleachers off Florida reliever Kevin Gregg in the eighth.

Barone (1-3) allowed four runs and seven hits, walked one and struck out one in 4 1/3 innings for the Marlins, who were swept by the Braves for the first time since May 15-18, 2006.

"I made some bad pitches (in the first)," Barone said. "They're good hitters. They took advantage. I got a couple of pitches up and they were able to capitalize on them."

Uggla hit a solo homer in the ninth off Rafael Soriano for Florida, which has dropped four in a row.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    FLORIDA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 3 0
    ATLANTA 3 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 x 5 9 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: FLA - DANIEL BARONE, RENYEL PINTO (5TH), HARVEY GARCIA (6TH), KEVIN
    GREGG (8TH) AND MATT TREANOR
    ATL - CHUCK JAMES, PETER MOYLAN (8TH), RAFAEL SORIANO
    (9TH) AND BR

    Sep 19 9:58 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY DAN UGGLA (30) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    9TH OFF RAFAEL SORIANO.
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 1, ATLANTA 5
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: J HERMIDA (.284, 0-FOR-3)

    Marlins vs. BravesSep 19 9:55 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ANDRUW JONES (26) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF KEVIN GREGG.
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 0, ATLANTA 5
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: W HARRIS (.279, 0-FOR-3)

    Marlins vs. BravesSep 19 9:49 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CHIPPER JONES SCORED KELLY JOHNSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C JONES ON FIRST, E RENTERIA ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 0
    ATLANTA 4 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: M TEIXEIRA (.335, 1-FOR-2, HR, 2 RBI)

    Marlins vs. BravesSep 19 8:52 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY MARK TEIXEIRA (13) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH
    1 OUT IN THE 1ST OFF DANIEL BARONE SCORED CHIPPER JONES.
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 0, ATLANTA 3
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: B MCCANN (.273, 18 HR, 90 RBI)

    Marlins vs. BravesSep 19 7:46 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY EDGAR RENTERIA (12) TO CENTER WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 1ST OFF DANIEL BARONE.
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 0, ATLANTA 1
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: C JONES (.337, 26 HR, 93 RBI)

    Marlins vs. BravesSep 19 7:43 PM