ATLANTA (AP) -- Julio Franco just keeps on hitting.
Eli Marrero and Chipper Jones each hit two-run homers, Franco
knocked in the go-ahead run with an RBI single in a three-run sixth
and the Atlanta Braves beat the Florida Marlins 5-4 Friday night to
end their seven-game winning streak.
"That guy is unbelievable," Jones said of his 45-year-old
teammate. "I don't care how old he is. He goes out and gets big,
clutch knocks for us."
Franco, hitting .261 (6-for-23) also had the game-winning hit
last Saturday in a 5-2 win over the Chicago Cubs, hitting a
three-run double in the eighth to break a tie.
"Put him (Franco) in a clutch situation and he'll give you some
kind of at-bat. Julio's just that way," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox
"I don't look for a particular pitch in that situation. There's
nothing you can do but hit the ball hard," said Franco, who has
nine RBI this season. In a situation like that, I came through."
"It was a slow curve and I got the fat part of the bat on it
and it went over the fence," said Jones, who was looking for
something offspeed after not seeing any in his previous at-bats.
"It's a big win. It's important because we don't want them to
get too big a lead. If we fall behind seven, eight games to them
with that pitching staff it will be tough to come back," he said.
Oliver was upset for even letting Franco get to bat in the
"Two pitches and boom! boom!," the left-hander said of the
home run pitches to Marrero and Jones. "There are going to be
times like this. It's not the last time I'm going to give up five
The Braves ended the Marlins' team-record scoreless string at 31
innings when Marrero hit a two-run homer off Oliver after a single
by Johnny Estrada to tie it at 2.
The defending World Series champions led 4-2 before Oliver began
to tire in the sixth with two outs and nobody on.
Giles then doubled and Jones homered to tie it. Andruw Jones
followed with a double to the wall in left-center and Franco
drilled a run-scoring single down the right-field line, scoring
The Marlins scored four runs -- only one earned -- off Atlanta
starter Jaret Wright, who went six innings. Two errors by second
baseman Giles led to three unearned runs for Florida.
"We really didn't get the hitting," Marlins manager Jack
McKeon said. "We're 8-2 and we really haven't hit yet."
In the first inning, Florida's Luis Castilla and Miguel Cabrera
drew consecutive one-out walks. Mike Lowell then singled to left,
scoring Castilla and sending Cabrera to third. Lowell reached
second on the play and Cabrera scored when Giles misplayed the
throw from third baseman Mark DeRosa.
In the third, the Marlins got two unearned runs when Castillo
led off with a single and went to third when Giles mishandled a
throw from shortstop Jesse Garcia on Cabrera's bouncer. Cabrera
took second. Lowell followed with an RBI single and Mike Redmond
added a sacrifice fly for a 4-2 lead.
Wright (1-0) allowed five hits, walked three and struck out six
in six innings. Kevin Gryboski and Chris Reitsma each pitched a
scoreless inning, and John Smoltz pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his
Oliver (1-1) gave up eight hits, five runs, didn't walk a batter
and struck out six in six innings.
The five runs allowed by Florida were the most allowed in a game
this season. They shut out Montreal in three straight games before
facing the Braves.
Marerro's homer in the second inning was the first home run
given up by a Florida pitcher in eight games. The 364-foot homer
over the left-field wall also ended Atlanta's scoreless string at
Wright threw 70 pitches in the first three innings, only 29
in his final three. ... Marrero's homer was his first since April
30, 2003. He only played in 41 games and hit .224 with two home
runs and 20 RBI in 107 at-bats last season with St. Louis due to
injuries. ... Giles doubled in the first inning and has hit in all
10 of the Braves games, matching his career high set last July
20-29. ... The Marlins were coming off three straight blankings of
the Montreal Expos. Atlanta was the last team to pitch three
consecutive shutouts -- Sept. 4-7, 2002, against Pittsburgh (1) and
Montreal (2). ... Cabrera's nine-game hitting streak ended. Her was
0-for-3 with a walk.