published Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Four-run sixth inning keys 11-3 Atlanta Braves win

  • photo
    Atlanta Braves' Chris Johnson hits a double to score teammates Justin Upton and Freddie Freeman in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins in Atlanta.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

ATLANTA — Chris Johnson's two-run, go-ahead double was the big hit in a four-run sixth inning that helped the Atlanta Braves to an 11-3 win over the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night.

The Braves set a season high with 16 hits and matched their high for runs.

The game was tied at 3 before the Braves opened the sixth with three straight hits off Dan Jennings (0-1), loading the bases. Ryan Webb struck out Dan Uggla and Reed Johnson before the other Johnson gave Atlanta the lead with his double past first baseman Logan Morrison.

Jordan Schafer and Andrelton Simmons added run-scoring infield singles to cap the big inning.

Morrison hit a two-run homer in the first inning for Miami.

Kris Medlen (6-7) gave up three runs on nine hits and two walks in six innings as the National League East-leading Braves took their fourth straight win and ended the Marlins' three-game win streak.

The Braves added three runs in the eighth. Justin Upton and Brian McCann, who each had three hits, had run-scoring singles in the inning. Chris Johnson also had three hits. Andrelton Simmons tripled in a run.

Miami rookie right-hander Tom Koehler gave up three runs, two earned, and five hits in five innings.

An error by Marlins left fielder Juan Pierre helped the Braves break a 2-2 tie in the fourth. Justin Upton led off the inning with a triple to right field. Freddie Freeman followed with a fly ball between Pierre and center fielder Marcell Ozuna. Both outfielders hesitated before Pierre made a late try for the ball, which fell off his glove for the error. Upton scored for the 3-2 lead.

Pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs' two-out single off Medlen in the sixth drove in Derek Dietrich to make it 3-3.

After the big sixth inning, the Braves added a run in the seventh. McCann's double off Kevin Slowey in the seventh drove in Justin Upton, who walked.

The Marlins couldn't score in the second after Adeiny Hechavarria's infield hit and Rob Brantley's double to right field put runners at third and second with one out.

Koehler grounded out to third base and Pierre popped out to shallow center field to end the inning.

Braves center fielder B.J. Upton left the game after the second inning with left forearm spasms. The Braves said his status is day to day.

The Marlins survived an injury scare in the third inning when Morrison was upended at first base when reaching for a wild throw by third baseman Placido Polanco on Medlen's grounder. Morrison fell over Medlen and landed hard on his right side. Medlen was safe on Polanco's error.

Braves first base coach Terry Pendleton immediately signaled for help from the Marlins' dugout as Morrison, who missed the first two months of the season recovering from right knee surgery, remained on the ground. Morrison finally was helped to his feet and remained in the game.

Medlen had an apparent cut on his right arm following the collision.

Braves right-handed pitcher Cristhian Martinez, on the disabled list since April 7 with a right shoulder strain, said he's still having pain. Martinez returned to Atlanta to have the shoulder examined. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said catcher Evan Gattis, on the 15-day DL since June 18 with a right oblique strain, is improving but is not ready for baseball activities.

Marlins right-hander Ricky Nolasco, 5-10 with a 5.26 ERA in 23 career appearances against Atlanta, will face lefty Mike Minor as the three-game series continues tonight.

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