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Uggla sets rookie record as Marlins defeat sloppy Braves

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- Dontrelle Willis never worried that the Florida Marlins would let two tough losses ruin their season.

"I think we're too young to even notice," Willis said after the Marlins built a big lead early and held off Atlanta's comeback in Friday night's 6-4 win over the Braves.

Jeff Francoeur's first-inning error allowed two runs to score as Florida took a 4-0 lead and Dan Uggla added to the lead with a historic homer in the second inning.

Florida's bullpen rebounded from a poor showing against the Mets with a strong effort to preserve the win.

Uggla hit his 25th homer, the most in major league history for rookie second basemen, as the Marlins won the first game of their 10-game road trip.

"It's big," said Florida manager Joe Girardi. "We need wins and that's the bottom line."

Willis (11-11) gave up nine hits and four runs in 7 1/3 innings. He gave up a leadoff home run to Marcus Giles, and went on to strike out six and walk two.

The Marlins pulled within 2½ games of San Diego, the NL wild-card leader.

"It's fun," said Willis of the wild-card race. "It's fun for baseball. This is how we want it."

But while Willis was confident the young Marlins would bounce back quickly, Uggla wasn't so sure.

"I'm not going to lie, the two losses to the Mets hurt," Uggla said. "They won the games in the last inning. You lose two like that, you feel like somebody shot your dog or something. We just had to come out twice as hard today."

The Marlins showed their resiliency early.

After Lance Cormier (3-5) walked Josh Willingham and retired Mike Jacobs, Cody Ross hit a sharp single to right that skipped under Francoeur's glove. Cabrera scored on the single, and Willingham and Ross scored on the error as Francoeur was slow retrieving the ball.

"I went down to get the ball and kind of picked my head up," Francoeur said. "It cost us the momentum of the game. It cost Lance some runs. It was a stupid mistake.

"I kind of set the tone. That's kind of tough to take when you know that you didn't help your team out that way."

Florida relievers went into the game with a 15-26 record, a 4.76 ERA and 25 blown saves. Taylor Tankersley pitched out of an eighth-inning jam and Joe Borowski pitched the ninth for his 34th save in 41 chances.

Willis was pulled after giving up doubles to Edgar Renteria and Andruw Jones.

Tankersley, who blew a save chance Tuesday night against the New York Mets, gave up a sharp infield single to Francoeur. After a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third, Tankersley struck out Brian McCann and Martin Prado to end the inning.

"The tying run was on second with one out," Tankersley said. "The game was on the line. That's the job of an eighth-inning pitcher.

"It's awesome to be in a race like this. Every day in the big leagues is heaven to me."

Cormier gave up six hits and six runs in two innings. His poor start and the sloppy fielding by Francoeur left fans booing in the first inning.

The Braves began the day 6½ games behind the wild-card lead.

Hanley Ramirez doubled to lead off the game. He moved to third on Uggla's sacrifice bunt and scored on Miguel Cabrera's double.

Cabrera had three hits and raised his average to .342, moving two points ahead of Pittsburgh's Freddy Sanchez for the NL lead.

Giles hit his 11th homer in the Braves' first. Uggla hit a two-run homer in the second inning for a 6-1 lead.

Giles' broken-bat single drove in Prado and pinch-hitter Tony Pena in the Braves' second, cutting the lead to 6-3.

Willingham, who homered in three straight games against the Mets, was 0-for-3 with a walk.

Notes

  • Uggla broke the homer record for rookie second basemen held by Joe Gordon, who hit 24 for the Yankees in 1938. Gordon finished with 25, but one of those came when he was not playing second.
  • The Marlins' rookie home run record for any position is 26 by Preston Wilson in 1999. Another 2006 rookie, Willingham, also has 25 homers.
  • Giles' homer was his fourth career leadoff homer, and his third of the season.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Florida's Dontrelle Willis wins his 11th game after pitching 7 1/3 innings with six strikeouts.  (AP)
Florida's Dontrelle Willis wins his 11th game after pitching 7 1/3 innings with six strikeouts. (AP)

Players of the Game
Florida

D. Uggla
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Florida

D. Willis
IP 7.1
H 9
ER 4
BB 2
K 6
 

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Florida Marlins
Hanley Ramirez, SS5120012 .289
Dan Uggla, 2B4112011 .292
Miguel Cabrera, 3B4131100 .342
Josh Willingham, LF3100103 .284
    Wes Helms, 1B1000002 .307
Mike Jacobs, 1B4000002 .264
    Eric Reed, CF0000000 .111
Cody Ross, RF4111020 .244
Alfredo Amezaga, CF-LF3020100 .266
Matt Treanor, C3000022 .220
Dontrelle Willis, P3110102 .121
    Taylor Tankersley, P0000000 .000
    Joe Borowski, P0000000 .000
Totals3461044614 
Batting
2B - Hanley Ramirez (38, Cormier), Miguel Cabrera (49, Cormier)
HR - Dan Uggla (25, Cormier)
SH - Dan Uggla (7)
RBI - Dan Uggla 2 (87), Miguel Cabrera (110), Cody Ross (43)
2-OUT RBI - Dan Uggla 2 (31), Cody Ross (24)
SB - Alfredo Amezaga 2 (16, 2nd base off Barry/McCann, 2nd base off Paronto/McCann)
CS - Alfredo Amezaga (11, 2nd base by Cormier/McCann)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Jacobs-H. Ramirez, H. Ramirez-Jacobs
Florida Marlins
Dontrelle Willis (W,11-11) 7.1944261 3.80
Taylor Tankersley (H,20) 0.2100020 3.12
Joe Borowski (S,34) 1000010 3.64
WP - Taylor Tankersley (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Dontrelle Willis 110-63, Taylor Tankersley 13-7, Joe Borowski 12-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dontrelle Willis 10-4, Joe Borowski 1-1
Batters Faced - Dontrelle Willis 31, Taylor Tankersley 3, Joe Borowski 3
Atlanta Braves
Marcus Giles, 2B5123021 .266
Edgar Renteria, SS4110011 .294
Matt Diaz, LF4010012 .331
Andruw Jones, CF4021000 .260
Jeff Francoeur, RF3010101 .261
Brian McCann, C4000025 .331
Martin Prado, 3B4110012 .278
Adam LaRoche, 1B4010021 .294
Lance Cormier, P0000000 .125
   a- Tony Pena, PH1110000 .194
    Kevin Barry, P0000000 .000
   b- Brian Jordan, PH0000100 .233
    Oscar Villarreal, P0000000 .000
   c- Willy Aybar, PH1000001 .254
    Chad Paronto, P0000000 .000
    Tyler Yates, P0000000 .000
   d- Daryle Ward, PH1000000 .294
Totals3541042914 
a-doubled for Cormier in the 4th
b-walked for Barry in the 4th
c-grounded into a double play for Villarreal in the 7th
d-grounded out for Yates in the 9th
Batting
2B - Edgar Renteria (35, Willis), Andruw Jones (27, Willis), Tony Pena (1, Willis)
HR - Marcus Giles (11, Willis)
RBI - Marcus Giles 3 (56), Andruw Jones (111)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Giles
E - Jeff Francoeur (9, )
Atlanta Braves
Lance Cormier (L,3-5) 2664201 5.23
Kevin Barry 2000120 4.63
Oscar Villarreal 3200030 3.84
Chad Paronto 1100010 2.72
Tyler Yates 1100100 3.68
IBB - Cabrera by Tyler Yates
HBP - Treanor (by Chad Paronto)
Pitches-Strikes - Lance Cormier 48-27, Kevin Barry 29-16, Oscar Villarreal 33-23, Chad Paronto 13-8, Tyler Yates 14-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Lance Cormier 3-2, Kevin Barry 1-3, Oscar Villarreal 4-2, Chad Paronto 2-0, Tyler Yates 1-1
Batters Faced - Lance Cormier 13, Kevin Barry 7, Oscar Villarreal 11, Chad Paronto 5, Tyler Yates 4
Game Information
Attendance - 25340
Game Time - 2:34
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - Sam Holbrook, First Base - Randy Marsh, Second Base - Chris Guccione, Third Base - Angel Hernandez