ATLANTA — Hayden Penn earned his first win in four years by focusing on a simple rule: Throw strikes.
Dan Uggla drove in three runs for the second straight game and the Florida Marlins continued their strong start, beating the Atlanta Braves 10-4 on Wednesday night.
At 7-1, Florida has its best start since opening 1997 with eight wins in the first nine games.
The Marlins snapped a 4-4 tie in the seventh on Peter Moylan’s bases-loaded walk to pinch-hitter Russ Gload. Moylan (0-1) gave up a leadoff single to Jorge Cantu, who scored the go-ahead run on Gload’s walk.
Four Florida relievers allowed only two hits and no runs in 4 1-3 innings.
“They did a terrific job, all the way from Hayden and (Dan) Meyer and (Kiko) Calero and (Renyel) Pinto,” said Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez. “What do they do in hockey? Three stars? Those guys should get four stars.”
Six Atlanta relievers gave up five hits, three walks and six runs in four innings.
“We can’t hit guys and walk guys in the late innings,” said Braves manager Bobby Cox. “We’ve never done that before, much. But we’ve done it enough this year.”
Penn (1-0) retired all four batters he faced for his first win since Sept. 1, 2005 for Baltimore at Toronto.
“It seemed like a while,” Penn said.
Each of Penn’s 14 appearances with the Orioles in 2005 and 2006 came as a starter. Acquired by Florida in an April 1 trade with Baltimore, Penn made his first relief appearance on Saturday night against the Mets. This was his second ever. He inherited runners for the first time when taking over for Andrew Miller with Atlanta runners on first and third in the fifth.
Penn ended the inning on Yunel Escobar’s fly ball to center.
“It feels good to know that they won’t hesitate to put me in a spot like that,” Penn said. “It’s the only way I’m going to learn, to be put in those situations.”
Uggla had two hits, including a two-run double in Florida’s three-run fifth.
The Marlins padded the lead with five runs in the ninth off Blaine Boyer and Jorge Campillo. Cody Ross, pinch-hitter Wes Helms and Hanley Ramirez had run-scoring singles and John Baker added a two-run hit.
Boyer gave up four runs on two hits, a walk and a hit batter in the ninth and has a 40.50 ERA.
Moylan, returning from elbow ligament-replacement surgery, has a 20.25 ERA.
“It’s at a frustrating point right now,” Moylan said. “Two outings in a row I’m lights out, everything’s hitting where I want it to go, the ball’s sinking. And tonight, it wasn’t like the ball wasn’t moving. The ball was sinking, I just couldn’t control it.”
Florida had four straight hits off Derek Lowe in the fifth. With one out, Baker singled to center and moved to third on Ramirez’s double. Cantu drove in Baker with a single to left, and Uggla followed with his two-run double over the first-base bag.
The Braves tied the game with three runs in the fifth off Miller. Casey Kotchman had a run-scoring triple and scored on Omar Infante’s single.
Uggla gave Florida a 1-0 lead with a first-inning single that drove in Emilio Bonifacio.
Kelly Johnson had a first-inning triple and scored on Infante’s sacrifice fly.
Lowe threw 106 pitches in five innings, giving up seven hits and four runs with five walks and five strikeouts.
“I can’t remember the last time I walked five guys in a game,” Lowe said. “It was just a struggle from the beginning. There was just a lot of base runners.
“The only positive was that we weren’t down so much that we couldn’t come back.”
Miller gave up four hits and four runs in 4 2-3 innings.