Bat hits umpire in head in Braves' victory over Marlins

MIAMI (AP) -- When plate umpire Jerry Layne left the game on a
stretcher, Tim Hudson called it a night, too.

Hudson pitched 7 2/3 innings, departing only after an injury to
Layne caused a 13-minute delay, and the Atlanta Braves beat the
Florida Marlins 6-1 Friday night.

Layne escaped with a bruised jaw when the barrel of a shattered
bat hit him in the side of the head. He departed on a stretcher
loaded onto a cart, but X-rays were negative, and he was on his
feet in the umpire's locker room after the game.

Layne planned to work Saturday's game, fellow umpire Marvin
Hudson said.

"He's doing all right," Hudson said. "He's a little groggy.
We'll see how he's doing in the morning."

The injury occurred in the eighth inning when Hanley Ramirez
broke his bat grounding out to second base. The bat hit Layne in
the left side of the head, and he staggered several steps before
falling to the grass behind home plate.

He was briefly unconscious, Hudson said, but was talking and
moving his arms before being loaded onto the stretcher.

Layne is in his 18th year in the major leagues.

"That was scary," Hudson said. "I've never seen anything like
that up close."

Hudson (10-10) allowed one run and four hits while throwing only
96 pitches.

"He could have gone all the way tonight until the broken-bat
incident," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "It was just too long
to wait."

Danny Baez and Bob Wickman completed a five-hitter.

In four starts this month, Hudson has an ERA of 2.30, lowering
his ERA for the season to 4.77.

"He has been excellent for a while now," Cox said. "He is
really throwing the ball well -- the movement is in the right

Adam LaRoche hit his 25th homer with a man on in a four-run
second inning. He also walked and singled, finishing 2-for-3 with
two runs scored.

Chipper Jones hit a two-run triple in the second and Pete Orr, a
late replacement in the lineup after Marcus Giles was scratched
with a bruised hand, went 2-for-4 with an RBI and scored twice.

Marlins rookie Scott Olsen (9-7) allowed five runs in 1 2-3
innings, his shortest outing this year, and failed for the fourth
time to reach 10 wins.

"I'll have a couple more shots at it," Olsen said. "I can't
worry about it too much."

Olsen's ERA in four appearances against the Braves rose to 9.88.

The home game was Florida's first since Aug. 6, when a rift
erupted between manager Joe Girardi and owner Jeffrey Loria that
prompted a clubhouse meeting lasting nearly 90 minutes.

After Friday's loss, Girardi met with the media in a hallway
outside the clubhouse, rather than in his office as is customary.
He said he wanted to accommodate the unusually large number of
reporters and cameramen who showed up to ask about the episode,
which he has repeatedly declined to discuss.

The Marlins remained 5½ games back in the NL wild-card race.

"Each day that ticks off, we've got to get hotter to accomplish
what we want to accomplish," Girardi said. "It's tough."

Attendance was 19,161. Atlanta's previous six games in Miami
this season had each drawn less than 8,800.

Atlanta's first two batters produced a run in the opening inning
when Orr walked and Edgar Renteria doubled him home. Renteria also
singled in the fourth, giving him five consecutive hits following
an 0-for-24 skid.

Florida's first two batters tied the score. Hanley Ramirez
walked, took second on a wild pitch, advanced with his 39th stolen
base and came home on Dan Uggla's groundout.

Ramirez had the Marlins' lone hit until Reggie Abercrombie
singled leading off the sixth.

Matt Diaz walked with one out in the Atlanta second, and LaRoche
homered. Orr singled with two out, Renteria walked and Jones
brought them home with a triple.

Orr singled home a run in the sixth to make it 6-1.

"They got some runs for me early," Hudson said. "I was able
to go out there and put up some zeros after a shaky first

Game notes
Atlanta OF Andruw Jones, sidelined the prior three games
with a sore knee, went 0-for-3 with a walk. ... Hudson improved to
2-0 in three starts this year against the Marlins with an ERA of
1.37. ... LaRoche has 12 homers since the All-Star break. ...
Marlins 1B Mike Jacobs went 0-for-4 and is in a 4-for-37 slump.