for this game

McCann leads Braves over Marlins

Aug 29, 2008 - 3:50 AM By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Brian McCann helped the Atlanta Braves win a homestand for the first time since May.

McCann smashed a three-run homer in the fifth inning and Martin Prado recorded two hits and an RBI, leading the Braves to a 4-2 win over the Florida Marlins in the rubber game of a three-game set on Thursday.

Rookie Charlie Morton allowed two runs in six frames for Atlanta, which won for just the fourth time in its last 17 games.

The losses have been piling up at home for the Braves, who have been on the winning side in just four of their last 18 contests here dating to July 19. Atlanta has dropped five straight series at Turner Field since taking two of three from the Houston Astros from July 4-6.

Atlanta's home woes have been a marked turnaround from earlier in the season, when the team won 24 of its first 31 home games through June 3. It took more than three months for the Braves to finally win a series at home again.

"It seemed like two months before we won a series anywhere, to me," said Atlanta manager Bobby Cox, whose team actually took three of four at Arizona from August 7-10.

Meanwhile, the Marlins appear to be stuck in neutral while in the middle of a pennant race. Florida (68-66), which again failed to post consecutive wins for the first time since July 30-31, fell six games behind the idle first-place New York Mets (74-60) in the National League East.

"We've been like that all year," Florida's Jeremy Hermida said. "We haven't been able to rattle off five or six straight (wins). We've got 30 games left. We have a lot of baseball left to play. We have a lot of games left on the schedule against teams we are chasing."

Prado got the Braves on the board in the second inning, plating rookie Brandon Jones with a single, before extending the lead to 4-0 in the fifth.

Josh Anderson drew a leadoff walk from Anibal Sanchez (2-3) to start the inning and stole second on a botched hit-and-run before moving to third on Prado's groundout. With first base open, the Marlins elected to intentionally walk Chipper Jones to face McCann.

The move backfired.

McCann smashed the first pitch he saw 342 feet down the right field line for his 22nd homer of the season and a four-run cushion.

"I haven't been getting the job done the last two weeks," McCann said. "It was good for them to walk Chipper and (for me) to get a hit for the team. A lot of weight was let off my shoulders after that hit."

The runs were enough for Morton (4-8), who survived a shaky sixth to record his first win at Turner Field. He yielded four hits and two walks while striking out three en route to halting a personal three-game skid.

"One of my biggest problems was the alignment issue to home plate," said Morton, who credited his success on an adjustment he made with the help of pitching coach Roger McDowell that allows him to finish his delivery more parallel with the plate. "It was a little bit better today. I've got to keep working on it."

Morton faced the minimum number of batters through the first five innings before allowing two runs in the sixth. But his teammates, who mustered three runs or less in six of his seven previous home starts, bailed him out defensively as well.

Dan Uggla led off the sixth with a double and scored on John Baker's two-base hit. Morton walked pinch hitter Paul Lo Duca and Hanley Ramirez followed with a shot to left field that looked and sounded as if it would leave the ballpark.

However, Brandon Jones made a leaping grab to rob Ramirez of a potential game-tying homer.

"I didn't think (I had a chance to catch it)," Brandon Jones said. "Luckily, I made the grab."

"I thought Ramirez's shot was a tape-measure shot," Cox said. "But it didn't go. Brandon Jones made a nice little catch."

Luis Gonzalez plated baker with a double, but second baseman Kelly Johnson made a strong relay throw to the plate to get Lo Duca. One batter later, Morton induced a groundout by Mike Jacobs to avoid further damage.

Julian Tavarez fanned three and walked one in the seventh before Jeff Bennett worked a hitless eighth. Mike Gonzalez, who returned from "Tommy John" surgery on June 18, struck out the side in the ninth to notch his seventh save of the season and extend his streak of successful conversions to 37.

Sanchez allowed four runs and five hits in five innings. He walked five and struck out two in falling to 1-2 with a 3.15 ERA in three career starts against Atlanta.






  • 43
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    Yankee82 Added 5 roots

    Marlins 2, Braves 4  FinalAug 28 9:59 PM


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

    BATTERIES: FLA - ANIBAL SANCHEZ, LOGAN KENSING (6TH), MARK HENDRICKSON (7TH),
    DOUG WAECHTER (8TH) AND JOHN BAKER
    ATL - CHARLIE MORTON, JULIAN TAVAREZ (7TH), JEFF
    BENNETT (8TH

    Aug 28 9:38 PM
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    McTool Added 10 roots

    Marlins 2, Braves 4  Top 8, 0 OutsAug 28 9:19 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY LUIS GONZALEZ SCORED JOHN BAKER.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, L GONZALEZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 2
    ATLANTA 4 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: J CANTU (.276, 0-FOR-2)

    Marlins 2, Braves 4  Top 6, 0 OutsAug 28 8:40 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JOHN BAKER SCORED DAN UGGLA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J BAKER ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 1
    ATLANTA 4 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: A SANCHEZ (.000, 0-FOR-1)

    Marlins 1, Braves 4  Top 6, 0 OutsAug 28 8:34 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY BRIAN MCCANN (22) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 5TH OFF ANIBAL SANCHEZ SCORED JOSH ANDERSON AND CHIPPER
    JONES.
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 0, ATLANTA 4
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: Y ESCOBAR (.284, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Marlins 0, Braves 4  Bot 5, 0 OutsAug 28 8:27 PM
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    Marlins 0, Braves 1  Bot 5, 0 OutsAug 28 8:17 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARTIN PRADO SCORED BRANDON JONES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M PRADO ON FIRST, J ANDERSON ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 0
    ATLANTA 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: C JONES (.358, 1-FOR-1)

    Marlins 0, Braves 1  Bot 2, 0 OutsAug 28 7:46 PM