Marlins dump Braves, win first series in Atlanta since '02

ATLANTA (AP) -- Scott Olsen sure felt a lot better about this start against the Atlanta Braves than he did the last one.

The Florida left-hander allowed only two hits in six shutout innings and the Marlins won a series in Atlanta for the first time since 2002, beating the Braves 6-1 on Thursday.

Olsen retired the last 12 hitters he faced on a sweltering day. He also had two singles at the plate, including a run-scoring hit in the sixth when the Marlins scored three runs to break the game open.

"My job is to go out there and pitch," he said. "Anything that remotely happens at the plate is just a bonus."

Olsen (9-4) did just fine on the mound, too, making up for a rough outing in his first career start against the Braves. Back in May, he gave up eight hits and eight runs in 4 2/3 innings of a 9-1 loss.

"I don't think anybody knew much about him," catcher Matt Treanor said. "The way he went through their lineup was very impressive."

Treanor helped out with his second career homer, a two-run shot in the second off Jason Shiell (0-2) that gave the Marlins a 3-0 lead. The catcher sprinted around the bases, hardly slowing down when the ball cleared the left-field wall.

"I don't hit too many of them," he said. "I just wanted to get it over with."

Florida won two of three against the Braves, ending a streak of 10 straight series in Atlanta that were either lost or split. The Marlins' last series win at Turner Field came from Sept. 20-22, 2002.

Atlanta lost its first series since dropping two of three to the New York Yankees in late June. The Braves had won six straight series, going 12-4 before stumbling against the Marlins.

Now they've got a big weekend series against first-place New York, which is in commanding position to end Atlanta's streak of 14 straight division titles. The Mets, who were off Thursday, hold a 12-game lead over the second-place Braves.

"We've got to come out firing tomorrow," Marcus Giles said. "This is important."

Olsen got stronger in the 92-degree heat, getting six straight outs on grounders before Andruw Jones flied out to end the sixth, the final batter faced by the Florida starter. He came out after throwing 87 pitches, 51 for strikes.

The Braves squandered a chance to jump ahead in the first. Giles led off with a single, Edgar Renteria walked and Wilson Betemit bunted the runners to second and third. But Olsen struck out Jones and Jeff Francoeur to escape without a run scoring.

"Once I got out of the first inning, everything seemed to click," Olsen said. "I kept it going the rest of the game.

Josh Willingham drove in the game's first run with a two-out, run-scoring single in the second. That brought up Treanor, batting just .212 coming into the game.

Shiell wouldn't have minded giving up a walk to Treanor with the pitcher in the on-deck circle but wound up hanging a slider.

"I was just trying to keep everything down and away," said Shiell, who made his second start for the Braves after being called up from the minors to take a spot in the injury-plagued rotation. "The last thing I wanted to do was leave it over the plate. And
that's what I did."

Florida doubled its lead in the sixth against reliever Oscar Villarreal, taking advantage of two errors by the normally reliable Braves defense. Cody Ross and Jeremy Hermida got things started with back-to-back singles, and Betemit booted Treanor's grounder to third to load the bases with one out.

Olsen, who also singled in the second, followed with a grounder up the middle that was bobbled by shortstop Renteria, whose throw to second was too late to get the force. Treanor went in hard at second on Giles, who unwisely made the relay to first but threw
it away, allowing a second run to score on the play.

Olsen was credited with a hit and Giles picked up the second error of the inning. Dan Uggla brought home another run with a double off the top of the wall in right-center, pushing the lead to 6-0.

The Braves finally broke through in the seventh after Randy Messenger took over for Olsen. Francoeur led off with a homer to left, the Braves' 50th homer of the month to extend their franchise record for July. They have three games left to challenge the major-league record of 55 homers for this month.

Francoeur would have preferred to come through in the first.

"We had a chance to do some damage early in the game, but Andruw and I both struck out," he said. "We could have given our guy [Shiell] some breathing room, but we didn't do it."

Game notes
Braves third baseman Chipper Jones was back on the bench, not wanting to aggravate a strained side muscle after he played the previous night for the first time in four games. ... Atlanta right-hander Jorge Sosa,
reduced to a mop-up role after losing jobs as both a starter and closer, left the game while facing his second batter in the ninth. He's been ill for several days and apparently had a relapse in the heat, forcing Ken Ray to finish out the inning.