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Braves rally again to beat Marlins

POSTED: June 14, 2008 5:00 a.m.
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Florida Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla, right, flips the ball to first after forcing out Atlanta Braves' Greg Norton on a Corky Miller grounder in the fourth inning Tuesday at Turner Field in Atlanta.

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ATLANTA — Chipper Jones hit a three-run homer and Greg Norton came through with a two-run double in the eighth inning that gave the Atlanta Braves another come-from-behind victory, 5-4 over the slumping Florida Marlins on Tuesday night.

The Braves actually won a one-run game, improving their mark in those contests to 3-16, despite two more homers by Florida's slugging second baseman, Dan Uggla.

Atlanta beat the Marlins in its final at-bat for the second night in a row. Jones, who actually managed to raise an average that already was over .400, sparked the Braves in the eighth with a leadoff single against Matt Lindstrom (1-1). Mark Teixeira followed with a double into the left-field corner, putting runners at second and third.

Norton, a .171-hitting utilityman forced to start because the Braves have two outfielders on the disabled list, drove the first pitch he saw just inside the first-base bag. The ball didn't stop rolling until it got to the corner, bringing home the tying and winning runs.

The Marlins have lost five of their last seven game to slide out of first in the NL East.

Will Ohman (3-0) won for the second night in a row with a scoreless inning. Rafael Soriano worked the ninth for his second save.

John Smoltz never got up for the Braves. The starter-turned-closer's ailing shoulder was sore after his first appearance out of the bullpen since 2004. He gave up two runs in the ninth on Monday, blowing a save chance, but the Braves rallied to win on Yunel Escobar's 10th-inning homer.

Jones homered in the first, giving Atlanta a quick 3-1 lead, and finished 2-for-4 to push his average from .407 to .409.

Uggla led off second by hitting a 2-2 pitch into the left-field seats. Atlanta starter Jorge Campillo knew he left a fat one over the heart of the plate, shaking his head in disgust as soon as the Florida slugger connected.

But Uggla wasn't done.

Two innings later, he practically swung one-handed to reach a low pitch from Campillo, the ball soaring toward left and barely clearing the wall to give the Marlins a 4-3 lead. It was Uggla's 18th homer and third two-homer game of the season.

He's on his way to his best season yet after hitting 31 homers a year ago and 27 in 2006.

Campillo had his worst showing of a surprisingly effective season, lasting only four innings. He surrendered six hits and four runs — one more than he had given up all season.

The 29-year-old journeyman came in with an ERA of 0.99, having allowed just three earned runs in 23 2-3 innings. He began as a reliever but was making his fourth start for the Braves' injury plagued staff. Over the first three, he gave up one run in 15 innings and earned his first two big league wins.

Hanley Ramirez led off the game with a double, moved to third on a groundout and scored on Jorge Cantu's sacrifice fly.

Florida starter Burke Badenhop got in a big jam right away. Yunel Escobar led off the bottom of the first with a single, and Kelly Johnson followed with a walk. That brought up Jones, who turned a 2-1 pitch into a monstrous drive that went out in center.

Badenhop, who came into the game with a 6.75 ERA, settled down after Jones' homer. He allowed only one more hit over his five-inning stint, though he did have to work around four walks in all.

<B>Notes:<P> The Marlins used six pitchers for the second night in a row. No wonder manager Fredi Gonzalez is going with a 13-man staff. "Young pitchers," he said before the game, explaining his rationale. "Young pitchers pile up pitches." ... The Braves improved to 24-7 at Turner Field.



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