Big win, but maybe a big loss too, as Horacio Ramirez left the game after five innings with an apparent groin sprain suffered running the bases. The Braves got a run in the first on a sac fly by Andruw but kept stranding runners; then they broke through in the fifth.
Kelly Johnson continued to shine, going 3-4 with a walk, scoring twice. Andruw was 2-3 and hit a mammoth homer, the first one ever hit into the upper deck in left, to put the Braves up 4-0 in the fifth and pretty much end things. LaRoche added a homer in the sixth, and Marcus drove in two with a ground rule double in the seventh and then scored on a bases-loaded walk to Jordan, of all people, who also had two hits.
Ramirez was as sharp as he’s been all season, holding the Marlins to three hits and a walk in five, striking out two. But he got hurt running the bases in the fifth, scoring on an outfield error off of Johnson’s single. Hopefully it’s purely precautionary.
Gryboski pitched the sixth; apparently Bobby has finally figured out that he should be used to start innings and not be brought in with runners on base. He was perfect, as were Boyer in the seventh and Brower in the eighth, those two each recording strikeouts. Boyer was particularly impressive, pitching to the heart of the Marlins’ order and making them look bad. His control’s still not what it should be but his stuff is for real.
Kolb can’t pitch at all. Used in just about the easiest situation you can imagine — at home, against a demoralized team, against guys with no power, with an 8-0 lead — he immediately gave up a double and then walked the next guy. Marcus bailed him out with a great DP and another play on the final out of the game. Kolb’s just atrocious, and I don’t know why they don’t do something about him. (Acronym of the day: K‘s Only Loser Batters.)
One thing that makes this a big win is that Dontrelle Willis goes for the Marlins tomorrow. (Night game, TBS.) Even if Sosa continues to shine as a starter, it’s a tough matchup. Also, the Natspos won and the Phillies have a big lead.