McCann’s grand slam leads Atlanta Braves to 13-2 victory over skidding Florida Marlins

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MIAMI (AP)—The Atlanta Braves found a team struggling more than them.

Brian McCann hit his second grand slam in a week and the Braves beat the slumping Florida Marlins 13-2 Monday night to bounce back after a rough weekend in St. Louis.

“Hopefully, the grand slam gave us a big boost, but we have to come out and play hard tomorrow and the next day,” McCann said. “We’re going to have to try and put together a winning streak if we want to play in the postseason.”

Atlanta had lost five of six and fallen into third in the NL East, a season-high seven games back of the division-leading Mets. The Braves, which lost two of three to the Cardinals in a weekend series, got a game back Monday when New York lost 9-2 at Philadelphia.

Florida was swept at Cincinnati during the weekend and has dropped 12 of 13 overall.

Matt Diaz hit a solo homer, doubled twice, singled and scored three runs. Chipper Jones had three hits and scored three runs, and Kelly Johnson hit a solo homer.

McCann’s fourth career grand slam came with two outs in the fourth and gave Atlanta a 10-2 lead. It was his second this season—he also hit one Aug. 20 off Cincinnati’s Phil Dumatrait.

Scott Olsen (9-12) lasted just four innings for the Marlins. He gave up 10 runs, six earned, and 11 hits.

“Losing is not fun in general, whether you lose one in a row, two in a row three in a row,” Olsen said. “Preferably, you don’t want to have a streak like this, but somehow we seem to find a way to lose every day. Today was my fault.”

Diaz, Jones and Jeff Francoeur all doubled in runs in the first, and Chipper Jones and Andruw Jones had RBI singles in the third to help Atlanta build a 5-1 lead.

“We gave Lance (Cormier) an early lead and he pitched awesome with it,” Diaz said. “We needed that to start this three-game set and see if we can salvage some sort of road trip.”

Dan Uggla doubled and scored in the first for Florida, then hit his 26th homer of the season in the third.

Chipper Jones, who missed Sunday’s game at St. Louis because of a strained right groin, was replaced by Chris Woodward in the fifth with Atlanta ahead 11-2.

Cormier (1-4) pitched seven innings for the Braves, allowing two runs and six hits. He was the only Braves starter without a hit.

“I’ll take 0-for-4 every night—that means I’m in the game long enough to get four at-bats and we’re hitting the ball,” Cormier said.

Marlins pitchers have allowed 33 runs in their past three games.

“Maybe we need to play a little harder, maybe we need to execute better. We need to pitch better,” Florida outfielder Josh Willingham said. “We’ve got to catch the ball, throw the ball. We’ve got to hit. We’re not doing the little things right.”

Olsen fell to 1-5 in seven starts since he was arrested July 21 for driving under the influence and resisting an officer.


The Braves faced a left-handed starter for a major league-leading 54th time. Cincinnati was second, having faced 48 lefty starters. … Braves OF Pete Orr was recalled from Triple-A Richmond. RHP Joey Devine was optioned to Richmond. … The announced attendance was 11,716.

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