Braves vs. Marlins: Atlanta Takes Series Finale 4-1 To Maintain Wild-Card Lead

After being swept twice last week, the Braves need to get back on track and in a hurry. They can do that this week at Turner Field, as the team welcomes in the Florida Marlins.

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Braves Vs. Marlins Final Score: Alex Gonzalez Homers, Atlanta Wins Series Finale 4-1

Pitching was the name of the game for most of the afternoon as Atlanta had little luck against Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco before finally breaking through in the seventh inning. The win was the Braves second in a row and helps them maintain their lead in the National League's wild-card race. 

Ricky Nolasco was near perfect through six innings before allowing a one out walk to Dan Uggla and a single to Brian McCann that put the Braves in business with men at the corners. Martin Prado then stepped to the plate and tied the game with surprising bunt single. After a Jason Heyward fly out, Alex Gonzalez put the Braves ahead for good with his 13th home run of the season giving Atlanta a 4-1 lead. 

Eric O'Flaherty earns the win with a scoreless seventh inning and Craig Kimbrel retired the side in order in the ninth for his 44th save of the season. Braves starter Randall Delgado was good once again allowing just one run in five innings of work. That run coming on a home run by Marlins' left fielder Greg Dobbs in the second. 

Atlanta bounces back to win the series from the Marlins after losing a season high four straight games. They entered the day with a 4.5 game lead over the St Louis Cardinals in the National League wild-card race.

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Brian McCann and Dan Uggla Hit Three-Run Homers In 7-1 Victory

The losing streak is over, but to be honest, it was more of the same for the Atlanta Braves until the sixth inning.

Facing Brad Hand, a rookie pitcher for Florida who has dominated the team in the past, the Braves continued their recent ways of struggling with runners-in-scoring-position. Fortunately for Fredi Gonzalez, Brian McCann broke out of his three week slump and belted a three-run homer to get the team going in the sixth inning.

With the pressure finally off the Braves to get that elusive big hit, Dan Uggla hit a three-run homer of his own in the following inning, which is his second of the season against his former-team. It was also the second baseman's 34th blast of the season, which sets a career-high for the 31-year old. His remarkable second half continues and we can only hope Uggla continues to his slugging ways in October.

Mike Minor battled command at times, but he ended up working 5.2 innings of one-run ball. He struck out five, though the lefty did allow four hits and (more notably) four walks as well. Fortunately, Peter Moylan came in and got him out of a jam and the combination of Eric O'Flaherty, Arodys Vizcaino, Jonny Venters and Scott Linebrink did not allow a run in the final four innings.

With a win finally under their belts, Atlanta will now play a matinee game on Wednesday afternoon to win their first series in nearly two weeks. It will be Randall Delgado against Ricky Nolasco in a 12:05 EDT start.

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Braves vs. Marlins: Atlanta Blows Countless Opportunities In 5-4 Loss

This is frustrating. Really, really, really frustrating.

Despite having multiple runners on base in nearly every inning, the Braves went 3-for-20 with runners in scoring position on Monday night and ended up falling to the Marlins 5-4 in the 12th inning. The worst part may have been the competition; nearly every starter for Florida was either resting or injured for the game, but somehow, someway, Atlanta figured out a way to lose the game.

Fourteen hits, one walk, two runners reaching on an error, and all we could muster was four runs. It was, in a nutshell, everything the Braves had done for the last two weeks.

Alex Gonzalez came up with a huge hit in the eighth inning as he drove in the game-tying run with two outs and Atlanta trailing 4-3. Instead of going over each scenario that we had in the final four innings, we'll set it up like this:

9th inning: bases loaded, one out. Brian McCann strikes out, Martin Prado grounds out weakly on the first pitch.

10th inning: Jason Heyward on second, one out. David Ross grounds out, Michael Bourn grounds out.

11th inning: runners on first and second, one out. Brian McCann strikes out, Martin Prado grounds out.

12th inning: Jason Heyward on second, one out. J. C. Boscan strikes out, Michael Bourn grounds out.

Is there an echo in here?

As for the Marlins, Mike Stanton -- strained quad and all -- came up with runners on first and third and lined a ball up the middle to score the winning run. Fun stuff.

Four wins out of our last 13 games.

At least the Cardinals lost.

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Braves vs. Marlins Series Preview: The Biggest Series Of The Season

After being swept twice last week, the Braves need to get back on track and in a hurry. They can do that this week at Turner Field, as the team welcomes in the Florida Marlins.

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