Braves start new winning streak
by Charles Odum
Associated Press Sports Writer
August 11, 2013 11:34 PM | 933 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) rounds the bases after hitting  with a three-run home run in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins in Atlanta,   Sunday, Aug. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) rounds the bases after hitting with a three-run home run in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins in Atlanta, Sunday, Aug. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
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ATLANTA — Freddie Freeman and Atlanta’s hitters made certain the end of a long winning streak would not be followed by a new streak of offensive futility.

Freeman hit a three-run homer, Jason Heyward had four hits and the Braves beat the Miami Marlins 9-4 on Sunday.

The Braves took two of three in the series. Their 14-game winning streak ended in a 1-0 loss to the Marlins on Saturday night. Freeman said it was important to move past the shutout loss.

“When you win 14 in a row, it’s always a good thing and then the next thing you know you get shut out,” Freeman said. “You don’t want that to keep going. We wanted to come out here and get some runs on the board early.”

B.J. Upton drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly and Chris Johnson hit a two-run double in the four-run seventh inning that broke open a tie game.

Evan Gattis had three hits, including his run-scoring double in the seventh.

Mike Minor (12-5) gave up four runs on six hits and one walk in seven innings, ended a streak of six straight starts with no more than two earned runs allowed.

The Braves trailed 3-0 in the second inning before taking their 38th comeback win of the season, the most in the majors. The Texas Rangers began Sunday’s games second in the majors with 36 come-from-behind wins.

“There’s a lot of trust in our guys,” Freeman said. “We never panic. We lead the league in coming back. I think that’s just a testament to our team.”

Braves outfielder Justin Upton left the game in the fifth inning with cramping in his left hamstring. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said it’s the second time this season Upton has had the problem.

“It’s just a cramp that he gets every once in a while,” Gonzalez said. “We’ve got to figure out a way to keep him on the field without cramping.”

The Marlins have lost seven of eight. Right-hander Henderson Alvarez gave up four runs on seven hits and a walk in six innings.

“I thought Henderson was good,” said Marlins manager Mike Redmond. “We came out and scored those runs early and we couldn’t shut them down. ... That’s a tough lineup to plow through.”

The game was tied at 4 when pinch-hitter Joey Terdoslavich replaced Minor in the seventh. Dan Jennings (1-3) walked Terdoslavich to start the Braves’ four-run inning.

Heyward singled and Terdoslavich scored the go-ahead run on a line drive to left field by B.J. Upton off A.J. Ramos. Following Ramos’ intentional walk to Freeman, Gattis hit a run-scoring double and Johnson drove in two runs with a double over Giancarlo Stanton in right field. Stanton appeared to lose the ball in the sun.

“That seventh inning, we just couldn’t stop them,” Redmond said. “We didn’t execute some pitches and they’ve got a lot of weapons over there. And as you can see, they have the ability to do some damage with the middle of their order and we couldn’t stop them. Couldn’t get them out.”

Justin Upton left the game after running to first base on an unsuccessful sacrifice bunt attempt in the fifth inning. Marlins catcher Koyie Hill threw out Minor, who was not expecting the bunt, at third base as Upton reached on the fielder’s choice.

B.J. Upton replaced his brother as a pinch-runner. Freeman followed with his three-run homer that gave Atlanta a 4-3 lead.

Alvarez escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fourth. Freeman led off with a double and moved to third on an infield hit by Gattis. With one out, Dan Uggla walked to load the bases, but the inning ended on Andrelton Simmons’ fly ball to shallow right field and Jordan Schafer’s groundout.

The Marlins took a 3-0 lead in the second. Ed Lucas doubled and scored on a single by Jake Marisnick. Hill singled before Alvarez lined a two-run double over Justin Upton in left field.

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