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Braves Catch Marlins 11-6 Final

MIAMI (AP) -- Their work done for the night, half a dozen Atlanta Braves gathered around a clubhouse TV late Tuesday to watch the New York Mets' extra-inning game at Shea Stadium.

It's only April, but the Braves are already mindful of the NL East race -- and holding their own. They scored all of their runs with two out to beat the Florida Marlins 11-6.

"That's what we're going to have to do to win," said Jeff Francoeur, who had three hits and drove in two runs.

Atlanta remained one-half game behind the division-leading Mets, who beat Colorado 2-1 in 12 innings.

Four Atlanta relievers combined to pitch six shutout innings, including three by Peter Moylan (1-0), who earned his first major league win. Bob Wickman finished with a one-hit ninth and has yet to allow a run in 9 2-3 innings.

"The pen has been excellent all year long," manager Bobby Cox said. "We're going through too many pitchers right now, so I've got to piece the game together and still try to win."

Florida's Cody Ross doubled and homered to drive in five runs, all off starter Mark Redman.

The Braves scored four runs in the first and four in the ninth. Brian McCann put Atlanta ahead to stay in the sixth with a sacrifice fly off Matt Lindstrom (0-1), making the score 7-6.

Pinch-hitter Pete Orr singled home two runs in the ninth, and Kelly Johnson and Edgar Renteria followed with RBI singles.

"It was a slugfest," McCann said. "Whoever got the last punch was going to win."

Francoeur drove home runs with a double and a single, giving him 18 two-out RBIs this season. He's 9-for-22 on the Braves' trip.

"He's getting big-time hits in big-time situations," McCann said. "We're going to ride it as much as we can."

Atlanta Braves pitcher Peter Moylan throws in the sixth inning against the Florida Marlins during a baseball game at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Tuesday, April 24, 2007. The Braves won 11-6 as Moylan got his first major league win after pitching three scoreless innings.

The Braves were 10-for-19 with two out.

"That's nothing you teach," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "That's a pretty good lineup."

Redman failed to hold leads of 4-0 and 6-4. He allowed seven hits and six runs in three innings, hiking his ERA to 10.13 in four starts.

"He's got to get inside a little bit more, in my opinion," Cox said. "I still have confidence in him that he can start making his pitches."

Florida managed only one hit over the final 5 1-3 innings against Moylan, Tyler Yates, Rafael Soriano and Wickman. The Braves' bullpen improved to 6-0.

Marlins rookie starter Rick Vanden Hurk gave up six runs in one-plus inning and was optioned after the game to Double-A Carolina. His ERA rose to 12.75 in four appearances.

"You can only get stronger from this," said Vanden Hurk, 21. "I want to win. To go out and have a showing like this, I'm not happy, obviously."

Vanden Hurk was within a strike of escaping the first without allowing a run, but he then gave up four consecutive hits and four runs. Andruw Jones' RBI single came on a two-out, 3-2 pitch. Francoeur doubled home a run on a 2-2 pitch. Scott Thorman followed with a two-run single on a 1-2 pitch.

Vanden Hurk left after walking the bases loaded in the second. Lee Gardner walked in a run, and Francoeur followed with an RBI single.

Florida made it 4-all after one inning. Miguel Cabrera singled home a run, and with two out, Ross hit a three-run homer, his third.

"I turned to (umpire) Tim McClelland and said, `This could be 36-36 after nine innings,"' Francoeur said.

Notes

RHP Nate Field will be selected by the Marlins from Triple-A Albuquerque on Wednesday, and RHP Logan Kensing will be transferred to the 60-day disabled list. ... Francoeur had an RBI hit in six consecutive at-bats before he flied out with two on to end the fourth. ... Florida SS Hanley Ramirez doubled in the first to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, matching his career high. ... Ross is batting .571 (8-for-14) against left-handers.


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