Braves 3, Marlins 2, 10 innings

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ATLANTA (AP)—Miguel Cabrera doesn’t like wearing sunglasses in the outfield. After Sunday, he’s willing to reconsider.

Cabrera lost a routine fly ball in the sun, and Andruw Jones scored all the way from first base in the 10th inning, giving Atlanta a 3-2 victory over the Florida Marlins.

The Braves swept the three-game series and moved within a game of the first-place Marlins in the NL East.

“We’re doing the little things,” said Johnny Estrada, who wound up with a game-winning double when Cabrera botched the play. “It’s something different every night.”

Jones drew a two-out walk from Matt Perisho (2-1), but the inning appeared over when Estrada lifted a soft fly ball to right field.

“I thought it was a can of corn,” Estrada said. “As I started around first base, he was kind of staggering. I was like, ‘Hey, we may have something here.”’

Cabrera drifted back with his glove over his eyes, but lost the ball along the way. It dropped in front of him, putting a damper on his 21st birthday.

“I saw it at first,” Cabrera said. “I tried to get the glove up, but I didn’t see it.”

He quickly picked up the ball and threw to Luis Castillo, whose relay throw reached home ahead of the runner. But Jones barely beat the tag from Mike Redmond, getting his left hand on the plate with a headfirst slide.

When the ball dropped, third base coach Fredi Gonzalez waved Jones home.

“As soon as I was getting to third base, he told me to, ‘Hurry up! Hurry up!”’ Jones said. “I had to pick it up right there. You never know when they’re going to drop the ball.”

Estrada was amazed that Cabrera wasn’t wearing sunglasses—especially in right field. He was staring right into a bright sun on a warm, cloudless day.

“It’s brutal out there,” Estrada said. “When you’re standing out there at this time of day, you can’t see it. Even with glasses on, it’s tough.”

Cabrera never considered putting on glasses.

“I’m not comfortable with them,” he said. And now? “I will work with them. I will practice with them.”

Redmond and Florida manager Jack McKeon argued the call at the plate, but both changed their opinion after seeing the replay.

“You’ve just got to roll the dice a little bit there,” Gonzalez said. “Extra inning game, you’ve got to make those guys make the plays. We’ve seen it on the replay about four or five times. He got in there a little bit.”

Jones also homered in the sixth, breaking up a scoreless duel between Atlanta’s Mike Hampton and Brad Penny.

The Braves won despite losing two key players and striking out 15 times. Chipper Jones went down with a hamstring injury, and Marcus Giles was ejected for arguing a called third strike.

Hampton, who had an ERA of 16.20 after getting roughed up in his first two starts, pitched seven scoreless innings and left with a 2-0 lead. The Atlanta bullpen couldn’t hold it.

Pinch-hitter Ramon Castro hit a two-run homer off Kevin Gryboski in the eighth.

Antonio Alfonseca (2-0) pitched a scoreless 10th for the win.

Chipper Jones, who homered in the first two games of the series, collapsed against the wall after re-injuring his right hamstring in the sixth inning. He was hurt while trying to chase down Castillo’s long drive to left-center.

Two teammates helped Jones to a cart, which took him to the clubhouse. He missed two games last week after straining the hamstring, but this injury appeared much more serious.

Castillo wound up with a leadoff triple. Hampton pitched out of the jam, though, getting Juan Pierre on a grounder to first and Mike Lowell with an inning-ending double play.

The Braves lost Giles after the fifth. He was ejected for complaining to umpire Chris Guccione about a called third strike for the third out.

As Giles walked off the field—tossing his batting gloves into the stands— manager Bobby Cox trotted out to take up the argument. He wound up getting tossed, too.

The Braves already were short-handed. Right fielder J.D. Drew missed his fifth straight game because of a strained left hamstring. Shortstop Rafael Furcal, who had missed seven straight games with a lower back strain, didn’t start but came in after Giles was ejected.

Penny unraveled after Andruw Jones’ homer. The Florida starter walked the next two hitters and Jesse Garcia made it 2-0 with an RBI single. Hampton then walked after fouling off four straight 3-2 pitches.

That was it for Penny. Chad Fox struck out Mark DeRosa with the bases loadedto keep the Braves from blowing it open.


The Braves said Chipper Jones will be re-evaluated on Monday, an off day. He has been on the disabled list only twice in his career, the last time in 1996. … Florida has allowed just 25 runs in its first 12 games. … Atlanta begins its longest road trip of the season at Cincinnati on Tuesday. The 12-game trip also includes stops in Florida, San Francisco and Colorado…. Furcal had two stolen bases after coming into the game.

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