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Braves Drop Series Opener Against Josh Johnson, Marlins

The Braves continued to struggle against Josh Johnson on Monday night, losing to the Marlins by a score of 2-0. The loss is their third in a row, and with the Nationals winning again, they now sit 4.5 games back of the division lead.

The Marlins ran into some good luck in the first inning against Minor. Jose Reyes fisted a ball into center field, and then moved into third on a perfect hit-and-run. Carlos Lee blooped a ball just over Paul Janish's glove to make it 1-0.

Emilio Bonifacio hit a solo homer in the second inning to make it 2-0. It was his first home run of the season, and the 21st time Minor has seen one of his pitches leave the park.

The Braves rallied in the ninth, but it would eventually fall short. Michael Bourn led off with a single, and he was followed by Martin Prado who also singled up the middle. Jason Heyward grounded into what should have been a fielder's choice groundout, but an awful call from Laz Diaz ruled Heyward out at first base. Fredi Gonzalez came out to argue and was ejected.

Chipper Jones came up with two outs and singled home Bourn to make it 2-1. Freddie Freeman battled in his final at-bat, but he ended the game with a shallow pop fly to center field.

The two teams will meet again on Tuesday night at 7:10 EST.

Read more about the Braves at Talking Chop and SB Nation Atlanta. Head over to the Fish Stripes and SB Nation Tampa Bay for more on the Marlins. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.