Final in 13

Series: Game 3 of 3

Florida won 2-1

Game 1: Monday, June 30
Atlanta1Final
Florida8
Game 2: Tuesday, July 1
Atlanta1Final
Florida20
Game 3: Wednesday, July 2
Atlanta2Final
in 13
Florida1

Braves 2

(52-30, 25-18 away)

Marlins 1

(43-43, 25-19 home)

    6:05 PM ET, July 2, 2003

    Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida 

    345678910111213 R H E
    ATL 00010000001 2 11 1
    FLA 01000000000 1 7 0

    W: K. Gryboski (5-3)

    L: A. Almanza (4-5)

    S: J. Smoltz (30)

    Willis gets no-decision despite eight solid innings

    MIAMI (AP) -- Rafael Furcal's leadoff homer in the 13th inning helped the Atlanta Braves avoid a three-game sweep with a 2-1 win over the Florida Marlins on Wednesday night.

    Marlins rookie left-hander Dontrelle Willis allowed only one run in eight innings, but failed to match a club record by winning his eighth straight start, leaving with the score tied 1-1.

    Gary Sheffield had three hits for the Braves, who managed just three runs in 30 innings in this series against Florida before Furcal connected off Armando Almanza (4-5) for his 11th homer of the season.

    Kevin Gryboski (5-3) earned the win in relief. John Smoltz, the sixth Atlanta pitcher, allowed a leadoff single in the 13th but got the final three outs for his 30th save.

    Mike Lowell hit his 26th home run of the season in the fourth inning for Florida, which was trying to sweep a three-game series from Atlanta for the first time since September 1996.

    Atlanta tied it in the sixth -- ending Willis' streak of 31 1-3 consecutive scoreless home innings. Furcal drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on a ground ball, took third on a wild pitch and scored on Sheffield's bloop single to center.

    Willis yielded six hits and one run while striking out six. He lowered his ERA to 2.13 for the season; in his last eight starts, it's 0.94.

    Atlanta starter Horatio Ramirez, another rookie left-hander, matched a season-high with seven innings. He allowed six hits and one run. Ramirez has won six straight decisions since the Marlins beat him 7-4 on April 11.

    The Braves, who entered the game with baseball's best record against left-handed starters (14-4), failed to take advantage of two other decent scoring opportunities against Willis, who faced Atlanta for the first time.

    Willis gave up a leadoff double in the third to Vinny Castilla, who was sacrificed to third. But Castilla was stranded after Willis struck out the next two batters, Furcal and Marcus Giles.

    Consecutive singles by Javy Lopez and Julio Franco to open the fifth didn't bother Willis, either. He got Castilla to hit into a double play, then induced an inning-ending groundout from Ramirez.

    Earlier Wednesday, Willis was named both the National League's pitcher and rookie of the month for June -- the first player to sweep both awards since baseball instituted the monthly rookie honor in 2001.

    Game notes


    Willis' winning percentage entering the game (8-1, .889) was the best in the National League; Ramirez (7-2, .778) was tied for second. ... The Marlins, who allowed 45 runs in three games in Boston last weekend, gave up four in the three games with the Braves. ... Two milestones were recorded in the game: Atlanta LF Chipper Jones went 1-for-5, giving him 1,500 career hits. Florida C Ivan Rodriguez's first-inning single was his 1,800th career hit. ... Before Willis, the last rookie to win the NL's pitcher of the month award was Hideo Nomo (June 1995). ... Florida sold 9,023 tickets for the game on Wednesday, the second-highest walkup crowd in team history. The announced attendance was 30,634, the Marlins' largest since Opening Day and nearly 18,000 fans higher than Florida's average home crowd this season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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