Atlanta at Florida

W: T. Hudson (3-3) L: D. Willis (1-4)
HR: ATL - None   FLA - M. Olivo (4)

Braves 9, Marlins 1

CBS wire reports

MIAMI -- After the game, the clock in Florida manager Joe Girardi's office was stuck at 7:40 p.m. -- just about the time that the Marlins were still close to Atlanta.

"Things were better at that time," quipped Girardi.

The Braves scored six runs in the third inning off Dontrelle Willis and got a season-high 18 hits Thursday night to back Tim Hudson in a 9-1 victory over the struggling Marlins.

Willis, who won 22 games last season and was runner-up for the NL Cy Young Award, allowed seven runs and 10 hits in 2 2/3 innings. His ERA climbed to 6.22. Willis' only win was April 14 against Washington.

"They had a plan and they were able to execute it," Willis (1-4) said. "I didn't execute my plan and that put me in a tough spot. It (stinks) getting your butt handed to you. I better get things done or I won't have a job."

Matt Diaz went 5-for-5 with two runs and an RBI. Andruw Jones and Todd Pratt each hit a two-run double in Atlanta's six-run third inning against Willis, who has lost four straight starts for the first time in his career. The Marlins have dropped 12 of 13.

Hudson (3-3) gave up one run and five hits in six innings with seven strikeouts, improving to 3-0 in four career starts against Florida. Chad Paronto, Ken Ray and Oscar Villarreal each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.

"That's as good as I've felt all year," Hudson said. "I felt like I could put lots of zeroes up on the scoreboard. When your team gives you a big early lead you want to go out there and make it stand up."

Atlanta's 18 hits were the most allowed by the last-place Marlins (9-23) this year. They have the fewest wins in the major leagues.

"We had a chance to win a series and he (Willis) is the one everyone looks to to shut people down, "Girardi said. "That's a lot of pressure."

The Braves sent 11 batters to the plate in the third. Marcus Giles and Brian Jordan each hit an RBI single. It was the fifth time in six games the Marlins have allowed an opponent to bat around in an inning. Willis was pulled for reliever Logan Kensing with two outs. Kensing retired Chipper Jones to end the inning.

"We needed a breakout game like this," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "It's been a tough trip (3-5) and we wanted to head home on a good note."

The Braves added a run in the fifth on Edgar Renteria's RBI single off Kensing and another in the sixth when Jeff Francouer drove in Chipper Jones with a single.

Miguel Olivo homered off Hudson on his first pitch of the fifth.

The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the second when Diaz singled home Francoeur, who doubled leading off the inning. Diaz set a career high for hits.

"You just want to make the best of your opportunities in the big leagues and tonight I did," Diaz said.


Kensing became the 13th Marlins rookie to appear in a game this season. ... Willis lost four consecutive decisions in five starts from Aug. 11 to Sept. 2, 2003. ... There were 8,717 fans in attendance, the seventh-lowest total of the season. ... Chipper Jones has a 10-game hitting streak. He has hit safely in 19 of 21 games played this season. ... Francoeur has a nine-game hitting streak. ... Renteria, who had his 24-game hitting streak snapped Wednesday, had two hits.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

M. Olivo
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

M. Diaz
AB 5
R 2
H 5
HR 0

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Game Information
Attendance - 8717
Game Time - 2:50
Temperature - 89
Umpires - Home - Field Culbreth, First Base - Bill Welke, Second Base - Tim McClelland, Third Base - Marty Foster