Atlanta at Florida

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Atlanta (60-80)000300000370
Florida (71-69) «00120020x570

Ramirez stars as Marlins edge Braves in front of sparse crowd

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

MIAMI -- Before the game even began, the Florida Marlins were guessing.

How many fans would show to watch two teams far out of first place on a weekday afternoon game with sweltering humidity and the heat topping 90 degrees?

"I was way off," Marlins reliever Joe Nelson joked. "I had predicted 418."

Only missed by a couple hundred.

Hanley Ramirez homered and doubled to lead the Marlins past the Atlanta Braves 5-3 Wednesday in front of an incredibly sparse crowd of just 600 fans at the first pitch.

Dolphin Stadium's bright orange and aqua seats were more visible than normal, leaving most fans to reflect the afternoon sun. While the official attendance, based on tickets sold, was 11,211, the ballpark was so quiet that home-plate chatter could be heard.

"I got enough worries about 30 guys on the field," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "It doesn't seem to bother our guys. They go out and play hard."

Jeremy Hermida had two hits and an RBI, and three relievers kept the Braves scoreless over the final three innings to preserve the win. Doug Waechter (4-2) got his first win since July 25, and Nelson pitched a perfect ninth for his first save of the season.

The Marlins, still trying to finalize plans for a retractable-roof stadium near downtown, said they can understand why few fans showed on a hot day but still hoped for a better turnout.

"The fans that did come out that's who we play for," Nelson said. "I know a lot of people watch us at home, and I do understand, it's hot out here. It's a difficult situation to sit for nine innings."

Braves manager Bobby Cox extended his major league ejection record to 143, getting tossed in the fifth inning for arguing balls and strikes. It was the eighth time this season he was ejected.

Kelly Johnson hit a two-run triple for the Braves, who fell to 20 games below .500 for the second time this week. Before Monday, the last time they were that far below even was at the end of the 1990 season, when they finished 65-97.

"We've lost a lot of games this year," Atlanta catcher Brian McCann said. "You get to the point where you are repeating yourself. We were in the game the whole time. Bottom line is they outscored us."

Florida began the day eight games back of the New York Mets for first place in the NL East. The Marlins avoided falling to .500 for the first time since April 6, when they were 3-3, but would still need a historic September to catch the Mets.

The Marlins believe they still have a chance, although their fans appear to have already conceded.

Florida is used to a lack of support, but even Wednesday's game was a stretch for the Marlins, who are by far the majors worst in attendance with an average between 16,000 and 17,000 fans.

"We like to see a lot more here," Nelson said. "I think we have to run off 10 or 15 in a row to see that. Winning cures everything."

Cody Ross hit an RBI single, and Ramirez scored on a wild pitch by Vladimir Nunez to give the Marlins a 5-3 lead in the seventh. Braves reliever Will Ohman (4-1) took his first loss of the season, giving up one run and one hit in one-plus inning.

Jorge Campillo gave up three runs on four hits in five innings for Atlanta and hasn't won since Aug. 8 at Arizona.

"He got squeezed on the 3-2 pitch and it cost us two runs right there," Cox said. "I thought he threw great. He had a lot of strikeouts. Nothing really got hit hard, just the one home run by Ramirez."

Notes

  • Braves 3B Chipper Jones missed the game with a twisted right knee he sustained during infield practice a day earlier. He reiterated that he should be able to play in a few days. Omar Infante replaced him for the second straight game.
  • Yunel Escobar left the game in the fourth due to an injured left shoulder. On the play, he stepped on his left hand stumbling out of the box after a single. The Braves said Escobar is day-to-day.
  • Marlins OF Luis Gonzalez celebrated his 41st birthday Wednesday.
 
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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This fan has a whole section to himself as 600 followers witness the Marlins win.  (AP)
This fan has a whole section to himself as 600 followers witness the Marlins win. (AP)

Players of the Game
Florida

H. Ramirez
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Atlanta

K. Johnson
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 

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Atlanta Braves
Josh Anderson, CF5000034 .296
Martin Prado, 1B4010101 .344
Yunel Escobar, SS2010001 .284
    Brent Lillibridge, PR-SS2100101 .200
Brian McCann, C4000003 .295
Omar Infante, 3B3110101 .317
Kelly Johnson, 2B3122102 .271
Jeff Francoeur, RF3011102 .232
Gregor Blanco, LF1000200 .253
Jorge Campillo, P1010000 .211
   a- Ruben Gotay, PH1000001 .231
    Will Ohman, P0000000 .000
    Vladimir Nunez, P0000000 .000
   b- Greg Norton, PH1000011 .264
    Jeff Ridgway, P0000000 .000
Totals3037374  
a-grounded out for Campillo in the 6th
b-struck out for Nunez in the 8th
Batting
2B - Jeff Francoeur (26, Volstad)
3B - Kelly Johnson (4, Volstad)
SH - Gregor Blanco (6), Jorge Campillo (4)
RBI - Kelly Johnson 2 (56), Jeff Francoeur (63)
SB - Brent Lillibridge (1, 2nd base off Volstad/Baker)
Team LOB - 9
Atlanta Braves
Jorge Campillo 5433371 3.67
Will Ohman (L,4-1) 1111010 3.48
Vladimir Nunez 1211120 5.40
Jeff Ridgway 1000110 5.06
IBB - Baker by Vladimir Nunez
WP - Vladimir Nunez (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Jorge Campillo 102-63, Will Ohman 18-12, Vladimir Nunez 25-16, Jeff Ridgway 17-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jorge Campillo 3-5, Will Ohman 1-1, Jeff Ridgway 1-1
Batters Faced - Jorge Campillo 22, Will Ohman 4, Vladimir Nunez 6, Jeff Ridgway 4
Florida Marlins
Hanley Ramirez, SS4221010 .295
John Baker, C3010100 .289
Cody Ross, CF3111121 .265
Mike Jacobs, 1B4000024 .241
    Andrew Miller, P0000000 .067
    Joe Nelson, P0000000 .000
Dan Uggla, 2B4000033 .256
Dallas McPherson, 3B2100210 .000
    Alfredo Amezaga, 3B0000000 .257
Josh Willingham, LF3011101 .256
Jeremy Hermida, RF4121011 .251
Chris Volstad, P2000012 .056
    Doug Waechter, P0000000 .167
   a- Robert Andino, PH1000001 .206
    Wes Helms, 1B1000001 .246
Totals31574511  
a-fouled out for Waechter in the 7th
Batting
2B - Hanley Ramirez (30, Nunez)
HR - Hanley Ramirez (29, Campillo)
RBI - Hanley Ramirez (61), Cody Ross (64), Josh Willingham (40), Jeremy Hermida (58)
2-OUT RBI - Hanley Ramirez (24), Josh Willingham (16), Jeremy Hermida (26)
SB - Cody Ross (6, 2nd base off Campillo/McCann)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - H. Ramirez-Uggla-Jacobs, H. Ramirez-Helms
Florida Marlins
Chris Volstad 6633520 3.32
Doug Waechter (W,4-2) 1000100 3.25
Andrew Miller (H,1) 1100110 5.52
Joe Nelson (S,1) 1000010 1.69
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Volstad 98-58, Doug Waechter 15-9, Andrew Miller 16-9, Joe Nelson 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Volstad 7-8, Andrew Miller 1-0, Joe Nelson 1-1
Batters Faced - Chris Volstad 28, Doug Waechter 4, Andrew Miller 4, Joe Nelson 3
Game Information
Attendance - 11211
Game Time - 2:48
Temperature - 90
Umpires - Home - Mark Wegner, First Base - Jeff Kellogg, Second Base - Chad Fairchild, Third Base - Sam Holbrook