MIAMI (AP) -- Thanks to some clutch hitting, the Atlanta Braves
have their first three-game winning streak in more than a month.
Brian McCann had three hits and three RBI, Chipper Jones
doubled twice and scored twice to help the Braves defeat the
Florida Marlins 5-3 on Saturday night.Jeff Francoeur and Edgar Renteria added RBI singles as Atlanta
won a third straight game for the first time since a seven-game
winning streak July 8-18."When you get the clutch hit -- McCann tonight comes through
three different times -- that's when you're winning ballgames,"
Braves manager Bobby Cox said.Atlanta rookie left-hander Chuck James (6-3) allowed two runs --
one earned -- and five hits, while striking out five in six innings.
He improved to 4-1 on the road."The first couple of innings, I felt like I didn't have a lot
of control," James said. "I was having trouble staying back on my
pitches. Later in the game, I got in a grove where I could locate
the ball better."Bob Wickman allowed two hits in the ninth but earned his eighth
save in as many opportunities since joining the Braves. He retired
Miguel Cabrera on a force out to end the game."Obviously he's the guy you want up there," Marlins manager
Joe Girardi said. "He hit the ball hard all night. He just didn't
find a hole."Florida starter Ricky Nolasco (11-8) gave up three runs and nine
hits in six innings."I've got to be able to close out the innings -- I wasn't able
to do that tonight," Nolasco said. "I battled but they did a good
job of capitalizing on my mistakes."Atlanta took a 4-2 lead in the seventh when McCann lined a
single to right off reliever Taylor Tankersley to score Renteria
from second. McCann finished 3-for-5, including two run-scoring
hits with two out."With two outs and a guy in scoring position, you know the
pitcher is going to give you everything he's got," McCann said.
"He's not going to give you a lot to hit early in the count, so
you have to work the count."Cabrera's two-out double scored Dan Uggla to make the score 4-3
in the seventh. Cabrera's hit capped a 10-pitch at-bat. He finished
3-for-5.Renteria chopped a two-out single to left to score Marcus Giles
and give Atlanta a 5-3 lead in the eighth.Miguel Olivo hit his 14th home run into the right-center field
seats off James with two out in the sixth to pull Florida within
3-2.McCann delivered a run-scoring single in the first and an RBI
double in the third to give Atlanta a 2-0 lead.Florida got within 2-1 in the third when Cabrera doubled and
scored when Jones committed a throwing error on Josh Willingham's
grounder.Francoeur's RBI single in the fifth made it 3-1.Seven of eight runs in the game scored with two out.
2B Pete Orr led off and again filled in for Giles (bruised
left hand). Orr had his third multi-hit game in eight days. ...
Jerry Layne umpired at third one night after being injured and
taken off the field on a stretcher. Layne was injured when the
barrel of a shattered bat hit him in the side of the head. "I feel
fine. I've been cleared to work by the doctor," said Layne, who
sported a big bruise on his left cheek and had a couple of loose
teeth. "I get paid to work, I don't get paid to sit around." ...
RF Cody Ross became the first Florida outfielder this season to
have two assists in a game.