Atlanta (41-34) at Miami (38-34)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Miami Gardens, FL
Temp: 91° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Mon Jun 27, 2005
  • TV: SPSO, WPXM
Preview | Box Score | Recap

With their roster devastated by injuries, the Atlanta Braves needed a lift. They’ve gotten a big one from Andruw Jones.

Jones looks to continue his power surge as the Braves open a four-game series with the Florida Marlins at Dolphins Stadium.

Jones hit his major league-leading 24th homer Sunday, helping the Braves wrap up a three-game sweep with an 8-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles. Andruw Jones has hit .382 with 12 homers and 23 RBIs since star third baseman Chipper Jones went on the disabled list June 6 with a foot injury.

Starters Tim Hudson, Mike Hampton and John Thomson are also on the DL for Atlanta.

“I said it a while back, Andruw is going to have to carry us, and he has,” said John Smoltz, who pitched his second consecutive complete game Sunday and third in four starts. “He’s striking fear into the other teams’ pitchers.”

Andruw Jones also singled in a run for Atlanta, which wrapped up a 5-1 homestand and moved within three games of first-place Washington in the NL East. He had five homers and 11 RBIs during the homestand for the Braves, who have won nine of 12.

The Marlins also completed a three-game sweep Sunday, beating the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 1-0. A.J. Burnett threw a two-hitter for Florida, which held Tampa Bay to just 13 hits in the series.

Florida, which finished its season-long 12-game road trip with a 7-5 record, scored its run on Miguel Cabrera’s bases-loaded walk. The Marlins have won four straight overall.

“We have had some bad spells,” Burnett said. “We lost some tough games, but now we sweep a team that just won three of four in New York. We still haven’t hit our stride.”

Monday’s series opener will feature both of the starters from the Braves’ 8-0 win over the Marlins on Wednesday. Horacio Ramirez won his third straight decision, allowing just three hits in five innings before leaving with a strained groin.

Ramirez threw a side session Sunday and was cleared to make this start.

“I got what I wanted out of it,” he said. “I’m ready to go tomorrow. … Everything felt normal.

“I’m not 100 percent, but it doesn’t affect my pitches.”

Brian Moehler lost his fourth straight decision Wednesday, allowing four earned runs and six hits—including Andruw Jones’ homer—while walking four in five innings.

“I was horrible,” Moehler said. “My pitches were up. I deserved the fate I got tonight.”

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Starting Pitchers

H. Ramirez ChC vs. B. Moehler Hou
11-9 Record 6-12
4.63 ERA 4.55
80 K 95
67 BB 42
1.39 WHIP 1.52