Final

Series: Game 4 of 4

Atlanta won 3-1

Game 1: Monday, June 28
Florida1Final
Atlanta6
Game 2: Tuesday, June 29
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Atlanta4
Game 3: Wednesday, June 30
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Atlanta9
Game 4: Thursday, July 1
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Atlanta9

Marlins 1

(41-38, 21-21 away)

Braves 9

(38-40, 20-18 home)

7:35 PM ET, July 1, 2004

Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia 

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ATL 60010020 - 9 9 0

W: R. Ortiz (8-6)

L: M. Tejera (0-1)

Atlanta 9, Florida 1

ATLANTA (AP) -- The Atlanta Braves finally jumped ahead early, thanks to a pair of clutch hits from the bottom of their order.

Andruw Jones hit a three-run double and Eli Marrero followed with a homer during a six-run first inning, leading the Braves past the Florida Marlins 9-1 Thursday night.

Coming into the game, Atlanta had been outscored 97-73 in the first two innings this season. No such problem in this one.

"We're on a good run right now," Jones said. "We're playing the way we should."

Marrero added a run-scoring single in the seventh and Russ Ortiz pitched into the eighth to help the Braves take three of four from the Marlins, who fell one game behind the first-place Philadelphia Phillies in the NL East.

"I'm just glad this road trip is over," Florida manager Jack McKeon said. "You can't play any worse than we did tonight."

Once again, rain held up the start, although the 12-minute delay was nothing compared to what the teams dealt with earlier in the series. The start of the opener Monday night came at 10:55 p.m. -- after a 3{-hour delay -- and two nights later, rain halted play for 75 minutes.

But the weather eventually cleared, which turned out to be bad news for Marlins starter Michael Tejera. He came into the game with an ERA of 9.00, which soared some more when he failed to get an out in the first.

Tejera (0-1) hit Rafael Furcal with a 3-2 pitch, then gave up a single to Nick Green. Another walk to J.D. Drew loaded the bases, and yet another to Chipper Jones brought home Furcal and ended Tejera's outing.

Aaron Small, called up from Triple-A Albuquerque earlier in the day, took over for Tejera and got two quick outs. But Andruw Jones lined a double off the wall in left to clear the bases, and Marrero homered to make it 6-0.

"I think the biggest hit was Andruw's," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said. "They almost worked out of the bases-loaded jam when they brought in Aaron, and Andruw got a huge hit.

"And Marrero hits a homer, that ended up big. That was a big first inning for us. Reverse the tables for a change," he said.

Marrero improved his batting average to .365 in 25 games since he came off the disabled list May 29. Tejera's ERA climbed to 18.00 in only his second start, and he was optioned back to Triple-A after the game.

"You saw it," McKeon replied tersely when asked about Tejera's effort.

Ortiz (8-6) made the most of the run support. He cruised through 7 2-3 innings, allowing one run and seven hits before Tim Drew replaced him.

"That's what we need to do, is come out and jump on guys early and keep that momentum going," Ortiz said. "It helps take the wind out of their sails. That's happened to us in the past."

The Braves purchased the contract of Tim Drew, J.D.'s younger brother, earlier in the day from Triple-A Richmond, and he pitched the rest of the way. Tim and J.D. Drew are the 12th pair of siblings to play together with the Braves.

The Marlins wasted a scoring chance against Ortiz in the third, when Alex Gonzalez walked and Matt Treanor lined a double just over Marrero's head in left.

As Gonzalez raced toward third, he looked over his shoulder for an instant and got a bit off-balance when he rounded the base. Third base coach Jeff Cox hesitated, then waved Gonzalez home.

The relay from shortstop Furcal to catcher Johnny Estrada easily beat Gonzalez, who slid into the tag.

"We haven't been generating any offense," McKeon said. "They always say you have to hit rock bottom before you can get up, and we did that tonight."

Gonzalez had more problems on the bases in the seventh. After Hee Seop Choi singled, Gonzalez hit a blooper down the right-field line to move Choi to third. Gonzalez made an ill-advised attempt to stretch the hit into a double, and J.D. Drew threw him out by about 10 feet.

"You can't spot teams six runs in the first inning," Florida third baseman Mike Lowell said. "They pretty much put it out of reach right there."

Game notes


To make room for Tim Drew, the Braves optioned RHP Travis Smith to Richmond and transferred 2B Marcus Giles to the 60-day disabled list. Giles, out with a broken collarbone, can now be activated July 15, the day after the All-Star break. ... Small's last appearance in the majors was April 6, 2002, as a member of the Braves. ... Lowell and Miguel Cabrera, who totaled four home runs in the first three games of the series, finished a combined 1-for-8 with five strikeouts.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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