for this game

Quick start propels Braves past Marlins

Apr 25, 2008 - 3:23 AM By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Chipper Jones continues to celebrate his birthdays in grand style.

Jones homered and collected three hits to lead the Atlanta Braves to a 7-4 victory over the Florida Marlins on Thursday.

Jeff Francoeur drove in two runs and Matt Diaz plated two for Atlanta, which snapped a two-game losing streak.

On his day he turned 36, Jones helped key a five-run first inning with a single before smashing a 416-foot blast into the right-center field bleachers to give Atlanta a 6-1 lead in the second.

"I've always felt like I wanted to do something cool on your birthday," Jones said. "I don't see any other way to do it. I wanted to do something big, either getting a home run or getting three hits. I would have taken either of them."

Jones also singled in the fourth to improve to .500 (18-for-36) with four homers, eight RBIs and 10 runs scored on his birthday.

"It was pretty much a perfect birthday," Jones said. "I said I wanted to end this homestand with a win and have a nice flight to New York. It couldn't have worked out any better."

Jones has seemingly found the fountain of youth in his mid-30s, finishing second in the National League in batting last season before putting up stellar numbers in this campaign.

The switch-hitting slugger, who increased his National League-best average to .442, is near the top of the senior circuit with seven homers, 18 runs, and 20 RBIs.

"Chipper had a great birthday, that's for sure," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "Every day has been his birthday this season."

Jones, who was thrown a surprise party by his family on Sunday, has been given all sorts of presents this week, including an autographed electric guitar from the country band Rascal Flatts.

The final present may come on Friday, when he enters Shea Stadium to face the Mets. Jones, who named his third child after the decrepit ballpark, has terrorized the Mets there, batting .310, smashing 19 homers and driving in 95 runs.

"We'll just tell him it's his birthday tomorrow too," Francoeur said.

Atlanta, which improved to 8-1 in games played in by Jones on his birthday, gift-wrapped a win for their star third baseman early on, getting to rookie Burke Badenhop (0-2) in the first.

Yunel Escobar and Jones smashed one-out singles before Mark Teixeira plated Escobar with a single. After Brian McCann walked, Francoeur doubled home two runs with a double. Diaz then a two-run single to give Atlanta a 5-1 lead.

"It was pretty tough," Badenhop said. "Giving up a five-spot after the team gets you the lead is pretty rough."

Atlanta plated its final run in the most unlikeliest of ways.

The slow-footed Brian McCann smashed a ball toward the right field wall for his first major league triple after belly-flopping his way toward third base. Francoeur plated McCann with a sacrifice fly.

"I'm as slow as it looks," said McCann, who had five triples in the minors. "I may not get another triple in my life. I'm excited."

McCann's belly-flop was the talk of the Atlanta locker room after the game.

"I owe McCann a beer after getting all the way to third with a belly-flop," said Francoeur, who witnessed McCann's last three-base hit with Class AA Mississippi in 2005. "It was fun to watch."

Jones, who was doubled over with laughter at the railing of the Braves dugout after McCann's hit, said the play was the ending of a perfect birthday.

"That was pure poetry in motion right there," Jones said. "That's pretty much how Pete Rose drew them up. There are a couple of times a season that you can't help having a belly-laugh. That was one of them."

Chuck James (2-1) scattered four runs and five hits, walked five and struck out three to notch the victory for Atlanta.

Jorge Campillo hurled two scoreless frames and closer Manny Acosta got the last six outs to record his second save.

Badenhop surrendered six runs and five hits and walked one in his third major league start.

Josh Willingham homered in the fifth and drove in all four runs for Marlins, who spilt the two-game set with the Braves.

"It was good to have a good game but I wanted to win," Willingham said. "We didn't win, so it's not so sweet."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    FLORIDA 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 4 6 1
    ATLANTA 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 x 7 10 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: FLA - BURKE BADENHOP, LOGAN KENSING (6TH), DOUG WAECHTER (8TH) AND
    MIKE RABELO
    ATL - CHUCK JAMES, JORGE CAMPILLO (6TH), MANNY ACOSTA
    (8TH) AND BRIAN MCCANN

    HOME

    Apr 24 9:43 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JEFF FRANCOEUR SCORED BRIAN MCCANN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 4
    ATLANTA 7 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: M DIAZ (.312, 1-FOR-3, 2 RBI)

    Marlins 4, Braves 7  Bot 8, 0 OutsApr 24 9:28 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JOSH WILLINGHAM (6) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 5TH OFF CHUCK JAMES SCORED JEREMY HERMIDA.
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 4, ATLANTA 6
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: M JACOBS (.284, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Marlins 4, Braves 6  Top 5, 0 OutsApr 24 8:26 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JOSH WILLINGHAM SCORED DAN UGGLA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J WILLINGHAM ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 2
    ATLANTA 6 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: M JACOBS (.284, 0-FOR-1)

    Marlins 2, Braves 6  Top 3, 0 OutsApr 24 7:54 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CHIPPER JONES (7) TO CENTER WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 2ND OFF BURKE BADENHOP.
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 1, ATLANTA 6
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: M TEIXEIRA (.253, 1-FOR-1, RBI)

    Marlins 1, Braves 6  Bot 2, 0 OutsApr 24 7:46 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MATT DIAZ SCORED BRIAN MCCANN AND JEFF FRANCOEUR.
    SITUATION: 5 RUNS IN, M DIAZ ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 1
    ATLANTA 5 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: G BLANCO (.444, 0 HR, 1 RBI)

    Marlins 1, Braves 5  Bot 1, 0 OutsApr 24 7:31 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JEFF FRANCOEUR SCORED CHIPPER JONES AND MARK
    TEIXEIRA.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, J FRANCOEUR ON SECOND, B MCCANN ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 1
    ATLANTA 3 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: M DIAZ (.311, 2 HR, 10 RBI)

    Marlins 1, Braves 3  Bot 1, 0 OutsApr 24 7:29 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARK TEIXEIRA SCORED YUNEL ESCOBAR.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M TEIXEIRA ON FIRST, C JONES ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 1
    ATLANTA 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: B MCCANN (.284, 5 HR, 12 RBI)

    Marlins 1, Braves 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsApr 24 7:25 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: FLA - BURKE BADENHOP
    ATL - CHUCK JAMES

    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: K JOHNSON (.250, 3 HR, 7 RBI)
    Y ESCOBAR (.310, 3 HR, 11 RBI)
    C JONES (.422, 6 HR, 19 RBI)

    Marlins 1, Braves 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsApr 24 7:17 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Yankee82 Added 5 roots

    Marlins vs. BravesApr 24 4:03 PM