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Braves 5, Marlins 2

The SportsXchange

MIAMI -- Kris Medlen carried a shutout into the seventh inning, and the Atlanta Braves held on to defeat the Miami Marlins 5-2 Monday night at Marlins Park.

Craig Kimbrel pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn his 45th save of the season, the most in the majors. He has 35 saves in a row, the longest streak in Braves history.

Atlanta got all five of its hits and all five of its runs in the fourth inning, and that was enough to subdue the Marlins.

In fact, the final 15 Braves batters went down in order -- all against the Miami bullpen.

The game was the start of a four-game series between the Braves, who have the best record in the National League, and the Marlins, who have the worst.

The Marlins finally got to Medlen in the seventh when pinch hitter Juan Pierre doubled to right and Adeiny Hechavarria singled to left. After Rob Brantly struck out, Ed Lucas hit a two-run double to center, ending Medlen's night.

Lefty reliever Luis Avilan came in and allowed a single to Chris Coghlan but got out of the jam by striking out Donovan Solano and Christian Yelich, both swinging.

Coghlan tied a career high with four hits.

Medlen (13-12) allowed six hits, two walks and two runs in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out six in extending his personal-best, single-season win total.

Marlins catcher Jeff Mathis left the game due to a left thumb contusion and is listed as day-to-day. He was replaced by Brantly.

The Braves, who had not managed a hit in the first three innings, busted loose in the fourth. The inning started with three straight doubles, including a two-run double by Evan Gattis.

Chris Johnson and Elliot Johnson added RBI singles, and the fifth run scored on Henderson Alvarez's wild pitch.

Alvarez (3-4) lasted just four innings, allowing the five runs on five hits and three walks. His ERA rose from 3.95 to 4.34. It was his second-shortest outing of the season and tied his worse mark for runs allowed this year.

NOTES: It's expected that star Marlins rookie RHP Jose Fernandez will pitch his last game of the season Wednesday. ... Braves RF Jason Heyward (broken jaw) is set to resume baseball activities Friday. ... Braves 2B Dan Uggla, who had started 11 straight games, was rested for the start of Monday's game. He entered as a defensive replacement. ... Marlins RF Giancarlo Stanton (ankle sprain) took batting practice Monday and could return to the lineup Tuesday. He has missed two straight starts. ... Marlins RHP Jacob Turner might have his Friday start pushed back to give him extra rest. The 22-year-old already has pitched 164 innings this year between the Marlins and Triple-A New Orleans.
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