Braves 2, Marlins 1, 13 innings

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MIAMI (AP)—The Florida Marlins waited all night for the clutch RBI that never came. Chipper Jones delivered for the Atlanta Braves instead.

Jones homered on the first pitch of the 13th inning, and seven pitchers shut out Florida for the final 11 1-3 innings Wednesday night to help the Braves win 2-1.

After scoring nine runs to win on opening day, the Marlins went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position, and the only hit was an infield single. They set a team record by hitting into six double plays.

Jones drove in both Atlanta runs and finished 4-for-6. He beat out a routine grounder to first for an infield hit and stole a base, but it was his power that won the game.

“We were struggling a little bit with the bat,” Jones said. “I just had the feeling that one swing was going to end it.”

He hit a fat sinker from Nate Bump (0-1) over the center field wall. The homer was estimated at 418 feet.

“I didn’t put it where I needed to,” Bump said. “It tailed over the plate, right where he wants it.”

Braves newcomer Dan Kolb, making his first appearance replacing John Smoltz in the closer’s role, pitched a scoreless 13th for his first save.

“I never had that kind of adrenaline in my life,” Kolb said.

Florida hit into a double play in each of the first four innings and again in the 13th after Kolb walked the leadoff batter.

“Double plays killed us,” manager Jack McKeon said. “We didn’t execute. We had so many chances to win. It was just one of those nights.”

The Braves are 1-1 despite scoring just two runs in 22 innings. They lost 9-0 on opening day.

“To come back and play more of an Atlanta Braves-type game and come out with a win is big,” Jones said. “Wins down here at whatever time of year are tough to come by.”

Adam Bernero (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings and got Juan Pierre to ground out with the potential winning run at second to end the 12th. Florida pinch-hitter Damion Easley led off the 10th with a double, but Pierre—one of baseball’s best bunters—popped to the pitcher trying to sacrifice, and Easley was doubled up.

Atlanta’s Mike Hampton gave up seven hits and three walks, but only one run in six innings. Al Leiter, making his first start for Florida since Game 7 of the 1997 World Series, limited the Braves to one run in 5 2-3 innings.

The game drew 20,317 fans, a steep decline from the Marlins’ regular-season record 57,405 for opening day.

Florida had runners at first and third with one out in the first before Carlos Delgado flied out to left fielder Brian Jordan, who easily threw out Pierre trying to score. The Marlins loaded the bases with none out in the second but scored only one run—when Alex Gonzalez grounded into a double play.

Braves rookie Pete Orr singled for his first major league hit leading off the third. He advanced on a sacrifice and came home on a two-out single by Jones to make the score 1-all.

“On Tuesday we didn’t pitch or hit,” Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said. “Tonight we did both—a lot of pitching and a little bit of hitting.”

Notes

The Marlins will pay $8.5 million of Hampton’s salary this season, the final year they’re responsible for part of his contract. He was briefly with the Marlins in November 2002 when they swung the deal that brought Pierre to Miami and sent Hampton to the Braves. … Hampton had an ERA of 8.41 in April last year. … Furcal went 0-for-3 against Leiter, dropping his average against the lefty to .174 (8-for-46). … Florida’s Todd Jones came on in the eighth to face Chipper Jones, followed by Andruw Jones. … Brian Moehler, making his Marlins debut, threw two scoreless innings working in the second relief for only the second time. He has made 143 starts.

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