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Vanden Hurk picks up first win as Marlins top Braves

Jun 6, 2007 - 4:08 AM ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Rick Vanden Hurk sure made his first major league victory a memorable one.

Vanden Hurk flirted with a no-hitter in six shutout innings and Miguel Cabrera homered to power the Florida Marlins to a 5-1 win over the Atlanta Braves for a split of a day-night doubleheader.

The 22-year Vanden Hurk (1-1) spent the better of five seasons in the low minor leagues, not pitching above Class A ball. But with the Marlins' rotation decimated and in need of a starter earlier this season, Florida purchased the contract of Vanden Hurk on April 10.

The hurler struggled in his first stint in the majors, allowing 17 runs in 12 innings. He lasted just one-plus inning in his last start, surrendering six runs and four hits against the Braves on April 24, increasing his ERA to a gaudy 12.75.

After the outing, Vanden Hurk was optioned to Class AA Carolina, where he worked on locating his fastball. The Dutchman responded by going 2-1 with a 3.46 ERA in seven starts.

With Florida in need for a pitcher to start the second game of a doubleheader on Tuesday, the Marlins once again turned to Vanden Hurk.

This time the righthander delivered.

Vanden Hurk yielded just one hit, walked two and struck out four in six-plus innings. The Dutchman, who was three years old when Atlanta starter John Smoltz (7-3) made his major league debut in 1988, threw 86 pitches - 58 strikes - en route to notching his first big league win.

"It feels awesome," said Vanden Hurk, who had the game ball and the lineup card in his locker. "I am very happy. After working (on my fastball) in the minor leagues, it felt good."

"(He was) tremendous," Florida catcher Matt Treanor said. "When you're going through a lineup, you make a game plan. We went out there and he executed."

Vanden Hurk retired the first 11 Atlanta batters in order before issuing a two-out walk to Edgar Renteria in the fourth and took a no-hitter into the seventh.

Rookie Yunel Escobar ruined Vanden Hurk's no-hit bid by lacing the third pitch of the inning down the left-field line for a double. Renteria chased the rookie after drawing a six-pitch walk.

"Treanor and I were working on the same page," Vanden Hurk said. "You never know if you are going to have the stuff for a no hitter."

"We just didn't hit Vanden Hurk at all," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "He's got a good fastball. It's hard to pick it up and it goes by you."

Taylor Tankersley relieved Vanden Hurk and recorded the first out of the frame by inducing Brian McCann to ground to first, advancing the runners. Matt Lindstrom shut the door on the rally by getting Andruw Jones on a popup and striking out Jeff Franceour to end the frame.

Miguel Cabrera gave the Marlins the lead in the second. Cabrera, who was batting just .200 (5-for-25) with one double lifetime against Smoltz, smashed a 450-foot home run to dead center field for his 12th homer of the season.

"I got a good at bat against him," Cabrera said. "It's nice."

"I've had some good success against him," Smoltz said. "He came out of the gate swinging. I didn't think he was going to swing (at the first pitch). That's why he was so good."

Florida extended the lead to 2-0 in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Josh Willingham and added a run in the seventh on a RBI groundout by Aaron Boone. Jason Wood added two insurance runs with single in the eighth.

Smoltz, who took himself out in the fourth inning of his last start against Milwaukee last Tuesday, lasted just six innings in this one.

The future Hall of Famer allowed two runs on two hits and struck out four without a walk to fall to 13-6 lifetime against the Marlins.

"I wasn't a sharp as I'd like to be," said Smoltz, who is hampered by a sore right shoulder. "I'd take two runs in six innings every time out."

"Six (innings) was enough for him," Cox said. "Especially with the way he's been feeling the last few days."

Kelly Johnson drove in a run in the eighth for Atlanta, which has dropped four of five at home.








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

    BATTERIES: FLA - RICK VANDEN HURK, TAYLOR TANKERSLEY (7TH), MATT LINDSTROM
    (7TH), ARMANDO BENITEZ (8TH), KEVIN GREGG (9TH) AND MATT
    TREANOR
    ATL - JOHN SMOLTZ, PETER MOYLAN (7

    Jun 5 10:02 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    SINGLE BY KELLY JOHNSON SCORED MATT DIAZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K JOHNSON ON FIRST, W HARRIS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 5
    ATLANTA 1 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: Y ESCOBAR (.421, 1-FOR-3)

    Marlins vs. BravesJun 5 9:43 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    SINGLE BY JASON WOOD SCORED ALFREDO AMEZAGA AND HANLEY
    RAMIREZ.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J WOOD ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 5
    ATLANTA 0 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: J WILLINGHAM (.266, 1-FOR-2, SF, RBI)

    Marlins vs. BravesJun 5 9:31 PM
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    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    GROUND OUT BY AARON BOONE SCORED JASON WOOD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J WILLINGHAM ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 3
    ATLANTA 0 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: J BORCHARD (.194, 0-FOR-2)

    Marlins vs. BravesJun 5 8:58 PM
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    Marlins vs. BravesJun 5 8:26 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JOSH WILLINGHAM SCORED HANLEY RAMIREZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 2
    ATLANTA 0 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: A BOONE (.271, 0-FOR-1)

    Marlins vs. BravesJun 5 8:19 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MIGUEL CABRERA (12) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 2ND OFF JOHN SMOLTZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 1, ATLANTA 0
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: J WILLINGHAM (.263, 8 HR, 39 RBI)

    Marlins vs. BravesJun 5 7:46 PM