Marlins 4, Braves 3

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MIAMI (AP)—The Florida Marlins might want Carl Pavano to pitch after every loss.

Pavano gave up three runs and nine hits in seven innings, helping the Florida Marlins stop a three-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night.

Pavano won his fourth consecutive start and fifth in six outings. All of the victories have followed team losses.

“I don’t try to go out there saying I have to stop a losing streak,” Pavano said. “I want to put us in a position to win whether we’ve lost 20 in a row or won 30 in a row.”

Pavano (8-2) has gone at least seven innings in 11 straight starts and has allowed three runs or fewer in nine of them.

“He’s kept us in it all year,” said manager Jack McKeon, whose club is just 23-25 after a 15-7 start. “That’s the kind of game you hope turns things around.”

The Marlins moved a game ahead of Philadelphia, which lost to Montreal, in the NL East.

The Braves have lost five of six and nine of 13.

Florida had just two hits and trailed 3-0 after five innings, but Miguel Cabrera got the rally started with an RBI double in the sixth.

Jeff Conine and Alex Gonzalez opened the seventh with consecutive singles off Jaret Wright and advanced on a wild pitch.

Wright gave way to the bullpen after striking out Mike Redmond, and the relievers couldn’t hold the 3-1 lead.

Kevin Gryboski (1-1) loaded the bases with a walk to Harris, and Chris Reitsma allowed all three inherited runners to score—he had not allowed any to cross the plate previously this season.

Juan Pierre walked, and Luis Castillo followed with a run-scoring fielder’s choice. Castillo barely beat what could have been an inning-ending double play.

Lenny Harris then scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch.

“It slipped out of my hands a little bit and I pulled it pretty bad,” Reitsma said. “I was trying to make it a little too good for the situation.”

After shaking up his batting order Sunday—dropping Pierre to seventh and moving Conine to second—McKeon returned it to normal. Still, the Marlins struggled to score. They have scored just 19 runs in their last seven games.

McKeon told the players to stay away from the ballpark during the off day Monday, and they held a hitter’s meeting before the game hoping to turn things around.

“We haven’t been getting any breaks, so this was a big day for this ballclub,” Harris said.

The World Series champions beat Atlanta for just the second time in seven games this season.

Johnny Estrada had four hits and three RBIs for the Braves. He had a two-run single in the first and an RBI double in the sixth. He nearly had another RBI in the third, but Cabrera threw out J.D. Drew at the plate from right.

Estrada improved his major league-leading average with runners in scoring position to .491 (26-for-53). He also doubled with one out in the seventh, but the Braves couldn’t get the tying run home against reliever Josias Manzanillo.

Armando Benitez pitched the ninth for his 25th save in 27 chances.

The Braves are now in jeopardy of losing their fifth straight series.

“We’re in a bad rut right now,” Estrada said. “We got a good pitching performance from Jaret and got enough offensively to probably win that game. That’s just the way it’s been going for us. We’re finding ways to lose. Badthings happen on top of bad things. We just can’t stop the bleeding.”


Braves 2B Nick Green snapped an 0-for-11 skid with a single in the first. … Wright allowed a run and six hits in 6 1-3 innings. He also had a season-high nine strikeouts. … Andruw Jones returned to lineup and went0-for-4.

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