ATLANTA -- Brian McCann never expected to find his name at the top of the National League's hitting list.
But there he is, with a .352 average after one of the biggest games of his career Monday night.
Andruw Jones had four hits and four RBI for the Braves, but he's done that sort of thing before. The 22-year-old McCann is a huge surprise, even though he showed enough potential during his rookie season for the Braves to trade former All-Star catcher Johnny Estrada.
"Nobody expects to be hitting .350," said McCann, who went 3-for-5. "I'm just trying to put some consistent at-bats together."
The Marlins lost despite getting six RBI from Mike Jacobs, ruining a modest two-game winning streak that equaled the best run of a dismal season.
Atlanta stormed ahead with six runs in the sixth, Florida rallied to tie it at 8 and the Braves won it with three more runs in the seventh. Amazingly, they scored all 11 runs with two-out hits.
The only setback for the Braves: Starting pitcher Kyle Davies went out with a groin injury and likely is headed to the disabled list.
McCann and Jones were in the middle of every big inning for the Braves. They each had run-scoring singles in the fifth, sparking the comeback. In the sixth, Jones had a two-run single that tied it at 5, and McCann followed with a towering three-run homer into the Braves' bullpen.
The Braves tied their season high with 18 hits. Five Florida hurlers combined to throw a staggering 206 pitches.
"That was an American League game," manager Bobby Cox said.
In a fitting footnote to the back-and-forth game, Oscar Villareal (5-0) picked up the win despite giving up a three-run homer to Jacobs in the seventh.
Atlanta responded with three runs of its own in the bottom half. Jones and McCann each had RBI singles, and Jeff Francoeur tacked on the final run with one of his own.
"I saw something I was doing (wrong) when I looked at the tape today," Jones said. "I knew I had to correct it. I had four good at-bats and four hits."
LaRoche didn't start the game, getting benched after he was outhustled on a play that cost the Braves four unearned runs Sunday. But he came on as a pinch-hitter in the sixth, stayed in and wound up scoring the winning run after his double.
"I just didn't want to screw up," LaRoche said. "It was nice to cross home and hear a few cheers out there."
Chris Reitsma worked a scoreless ninth for his seventh save in nine chances, but the best pitching was turned in by journeyman reliever Chad Paronto. He struck out six and gave up only one hit in three scoreless innings after replacing Davies.
"I was just trying to keep us in the game, give us an opportunity to win," Paronto said.
Jacobs, who came into the game batting just .198, turned in the best performance of his young career. His three-run double in the third gave the Marlins their five-run lead. He doubled again in the fifth and homered off Villareal in the seventh.
"It's frustrating, putting together eight runs and not being able to hold onto the game," Jacobs said.
Florida jumped ahead with a first-inning run, then scored four more in the third. The first five hitters reached base against Davies, who gave up a leadoff homer to Dan Uggla and Jacobs' bases-loaded double into the right-field corner that brought everyone home.
Davies threw only four more pitches, bending over in pain after Miguel Oliva fouled one off. The right-hander didn't even attempt to throw test pitch, walking slowly off the field with the trainer.
The Braves said Davies will be re-evaluated on Tuesday, but Cox said the injury was certainly serious enough to require a stint on the DL.
Florida starter Josh Johnson lasted five innings, leading with a 5-2 lead. He gave up seven hits and walked three, but also struck out six.
Atlanta surged ahead against relievers Matt Herges and Messenger, sending 11 hitters to the plate in the sixth.
Then it was time for a Florida comeback. Villareal gave up a couple of walks before grooving a pitch to Jacobs, who drove it into the right-field seats for the tying homer.
|Atlanta's Marcus Giles, who finishes with two hits, gets tagged out at second by Hanley Ramirez. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Hanley Ramirez, SS||5||0||0||0||0||3||1||.333|
|Dan Uggla, 2B||4||3||2||1||1||0||0||.307|
|Miguel Cabrera, 3B||5||1||2||0||0||2||1||.341|
|Josh Willingham, LF||4||1||1||0||1||1||1||.295|
|Joe Borchard, RF||2||2||0||1||2||1||0||.240|
|Mike Jacobs, 1B||4||1||3||6||0||0||2||.218|
|Miguel Olivo, C||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.253|
|Logan Kensing, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Todd Wellemeyer, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Reggie Abercrombie, CF||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.232|
|Josh Johnson, P||2||0||0||0||0||2||2||.000|
|a- Chris Aguila, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.232|
|Matt Herges, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Randy Messenger, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Matt Treanor, C||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.195|
|a-flied out for Johnson in the 6th|
|2B - Josh Willingham (13, Davies), Mike Jacobs 2 (8, Davies, Paronto), Reggie Abercrombie (7, Davies)|
|HR - Dan Uggla (5, Davies), Mike Jacobs (5, Villarreal)|
|RBI - Dan Uggla (18), Joe Borchard (7), Mike Jacobs 6 (22)|
|2-OUT RBI - Mike Jacobs 3 (8)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|Outfield Assists - Joe Borchard 1|
|DP - Olivo-H. Ramirez|
|E - Miguel Cabrera (10, wild throw)|
|Matt Herges (BS,4)||0.2||4||5||5||1||0||0||5.95|
|Randy Messenger (L,0-2)||0.2||3||2||2||0||0||1||3.77|
|HBP - Langerhans (by Randy Messenger)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Josh Johnson 101-59, Matt Herges 30-18, Randy Messenger 29-17, Logan Kensing 25-14, Todd Wellemeyer 21-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Johnson 1-7, Randy Messenger 1-1, Todd Wellemeyer 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Josh Johnson 24, Matt Herges 7, Randy Messenger 6, Logan Kensing 5, Todd Wellemeyer 5|
|Marcus Giles, 2B||5||1||2||0||1||0||4||.236|
|Edgar Renteria, SS||6||1||1||1||0||3||8||.333|
|Chipper Jones, 3B||3||2||0||0||2||1||5||.287|
|Andruw Jones, CF||4||2||4||4||1||0||0||.295|
|Brian McCann, C||5||1||3||5||0||0||2||.352|
|Jeff Francoeur, RF||5||0||2||1||0||0||4||.255|
|Ryan Langerhans, LF||3||1||1||0||1||1||1||.269|
|Brian Jordan, 1B||4||1||2||0||0||1||4||.306|
|Oscar Villarreal, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Mike Remlinger, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Wilson Betemit, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.271|
|Chris Reitsma, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Kyle Davies, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Chad Paronto, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.000|
|b- Pete Orr, PH||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||.213|
|Ken Ray, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Adam LaRoche, PH-1B||2||1||1||0||1||0||2||.226|
|a-singled for Remlinger in the 8th|
|b-singled for Paronto in the 5th|
|c-flied out for Ray in the 6th|
|2B - Brian Jordan (2, Johnson), Adam LaRoche (12, Messenger)|
|HR - Brian McCann (5, Messenger)|
|RBI - Edgar Renteria (15), Andruw Jones 4 (38), Brian McCann 5 (19), Jeff Francoeur (32)|
|2-OUT RBI - Edgar Renteria (8), Andruw Jones 4 (14), Brian McCann 5 (8), Jeff Francoeur (17)|
|CS - Marcus Giles (3, 2nd base by Johnson/Olivo)|
|Team LOB - 12|
|Oscar Villarreal (BS,4; W,5-0)||1||1||3||3||2||1||1||3.12|
|Mike Remlinger (H,2)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||3.65|
|Chris Reitsma (S,7)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||6.46|
|WP - Oscar Villarreal (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Davies 65-37, Chad Paronto 47-30, Ken Ray 13-8, Oscar Villarreal 26-13, Mike Remlinger 14-9, Chris Reitsma 9-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Davies 2-2, Chad Paronto 1-2, Ken Ray 1-1, Oscar Villarreal 1-1, Chris Reitsma 3-0|
|Batters Faced - Kyle Davies 15, Chad Paronto 10, Ken Ray 3, Oscar Villarreal 6, Mike Remlinger 3, Chris Reitsma 3|
|Attendance - 19254|
|Game Time - 3:38|
|Temperature - 63|
|Umpires - Home - Larry Poncino, First Base - Bruce Dreckman, Second Base - Brian Knight, Third Base - Gary Darling|