Atlanta 8 Florida 1

ESPN.com – MLB – Recap

The season in microcosm. Braves pitchers allowed thirteen hits, but only two for extra bases, the defense turned three double plays, a runner was thrown out at the plate, and only one run scored for the Marlins. The Marlins, meanwhile, had to turn to an emergency starter with Burnett unavailable — hey, that’s their last several seasons in microcosm! — and the guy did well for three innings then fell apart. The one unusual thing were the walks — the Braves allowed only one, late, while they drew seven in the first five innings.

Byrd went five innings, at the end of which he led 7-1, had allowed nine hits, but struck out three, didn’t walk any, and had thrown 56 strikes in 67 pitches. The Marlins put together three singles in the third to get their run, but on two occasions had runners on second and third, less than two out, but couldn’t score.

The Braves bunched their offense in the fourth and fifth. Chipper hit a three-run homer in the fourth, then the Braves loaded the bases. With one out, Byrd managed to beat out a possible double play to drive in the fourth run. They loaded the bases again in the next inning off of a reliever. Estrada singled in one, then LaRoche two. Drew added a solo shot in the ninth.

Marcus had a big game, going 3-5 with a double and getting those two innings started. He also stole a pair of bases. Drew walked three times. All the regulars had hits but Furcal.

After Byrd left, Gryboski, Alfonseca, Reitsma, and Smoltz pitched an inning apiece. I guess they needed work.

The Marlins fall to 8 1/2 back, the magic number to eight. The Phillies have blown a couple of leads to the Expos and are losing now; if they fall, they’ll be 11 1/2 out… Tomorrow’s game is on Turner South, yuck, and will have Wright going against Beckett. The third game is supposed to be on ESPN2 for those who don’t have TS, at least according to ESPN.com, but my local listings don’t show it.

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