published Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Prado homers, Atlanta Braves beat Marlins 3-0

Atlanta Braves' Martin Prado drives in a run with a base hit in the third inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012, in Atlanta.
Atlanta Braves' Martin Prado drives in a run with a base hit in the third inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012, in Atlanta.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

ATLANTA — The Braves showed no hangover from their champagne celebration, beating Miami 3-0 on Wednesday night as Martin Prado homered and Paul Maholm combined with three relievers on a six-hitter.

The win came one night after Atlanta clinched at least an NL wild-card berth with Tuesday night’s 4-3 win over the Marlins. After the game, Braves players sprayed champagne on each other in the clubhouse and on the field.

The Braves began the night four games behind first-place Washington in the NL East.

Prado hit a first-inning homer off Josh Johnson (8-14) and drove in Jose Constanza with a third-inning single. The Braves had only four hits.

Miami has lost six straight and eight of nine.

Maholm (13-10) earned only his second win in his last seven starts. The left-hander gave up five hits with no walks and six strikeouts in 6 2-3 innings.

Chad Durbin recorded the final out in the seventh. Eric O’Flaherty pitched the eighth.

Craig Kimbrel earned his 40th save, matching Jason Motte for the NL lead, with a perfect ninth inning. He struck out four in the inning. Donovan Solano struck out but reached on a wild pitch. Kimbrel also struck out Greg Dobbs, John Buck and Gil Velazquez.

The Braves scored an unearned run off Johnson in the sixth. Dan Uggla reached on third baseman Velazquez’s low throw to first base for an error. Uggla moved to third on Brian McCann’s single.

With Maholm at the plate, Uggla took off from third on an apparent attempted suicide squeeze. Maholm waved his bat at the pitch, which was wide of the plate and beyond the reach of Buck, the catcher. Uggla scored easily and was credited with a stolen base.

Johnson allowed three runs, two earned, four hits and five walks in six innings.

Velazquez had two of Miami’s six hits.

NOTES: Uggla’s steal of home was the Braves’ first since Jason Heyward on July 28, 2010, at Washington. ... Braves CF Michael Bourn (jammed left thumb) missed his third straight start. ... Heyward stole second, his 20th, after a first-inning walk. ... Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said OF Giancarlo Stanton (sore left ribcage) may be held out until Friday’s opening game of a home series against the Phillies. ... Guillen said he had no problem with the Braves celebrating after clinching at least a wild-card spot Tuesday night. “Everybody should celebrate everything they do in life,” Guillen said. ... Braves RHP Tommy Hanson (12-9) will face Miami RHP Jacob Turner (1-3) in Thursday night’s final game of the three-game series.

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