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Cousins' first big-league hit wins it for Marlins in 10th

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MIAMI -- The ballpark fell silent as fans rose in alarm after a foul ball felled Florida Marlins rookie Logan Morrison in the on-deck circle.

Morrison was quickly back on his feet but out of the game. His spot in the lineup was filled by recent minor-league call-up Scott Cousins, who had fans standing again moments later, this time to cheer a wild victory.

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A single by Cousins -- his first hit as a big-leaguer -- drove in the winning run with none out in the 10th inning Sunday, completing a dramatic swing of emotions as the Marlins beat the Atlanta Braves 7-6.

"Definitely a roller-coaster," Cousins said. "You go from, 'Oh no, here's one of our hottest bats in the lineup going down,' to 'This nobody just hit a walk-off.' You can't really describe that. It's just crazy."

Cousins was summoned after Emilio Bonifacio lined a foul that struck Morrison on the left cheek. Morrison's helmet flew off and he collapsed face-down, but moments later he walked off the field accompanied by a trainer.

"He's a tough kid. He wanted to keep playing," said teammate Dan Uggla, the first player to reach Morrison. "It's as hard as I've seen anybody get hit in the face with a baseball. ... It missed the eye, thank goodness. Hopefully nothing is broken."

Uggla said he saw no blood, but Morrison's cheek swelled. Morrison was taken to a hospital for tests, and he did not accompany the Marlins on their flight to Philadelphia for a series beginning Monday.

Despite the loss, Atlanta held its one-game lead over Philadelphia in the NL East.

Bonifacio lined the next pitch for a leadoff triple against Eric O'Flaherty (3-2). Cousins, who made his major league debut Friday, batted for Morrison and became an improbable star when he pulled a deep fly over the head of left fielder Melky Cabrera.

The Marlins' Wes Helms ran out to retrieve the ball as a souvenir for Cousins. Twenty minutes after the game, the rookie was still trying to absorb what he had done.

"I'm rounding second and my teammates are rushing out to greet me - I think that was one of the greatest feelings I've had in a long time," Cousins said, his voice breaking with emotion. "I don't know if anybody really expected much out of me in that situation, but I did. Fortunately I was able to get the job done."

The Braves overcame a 6-0 deficit and nearly went ahead. But with Florida up 6-4 in the sixth inning, a leaping Cameron Maybin reached above the center-field wall to rob Atlanta's Nate McLouth of a grand slam.

"Maybin took a home run away, and that's the ballgame," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "If not for that, we win."

Instead, the Marlins won when they ended a streak of 15 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings by the Atlanta bullpen.

"I could have made two better pitches," O'Flaherty said. "It's very frustrating when you blow a game."

Burke Badenhop (2-5) pitched a scoreless 10th for the Marlins, who will take a taxed bullpen into Monday's doubleheader against the Phillies. Manager Edwin Rodriguez used four relievers, and two others -- Leo Nunez and Brian Sanches -- are nursing injuries.

Rodriguez said the team would likely call up a reinforcement from the minors.

The Braves tied the game with a bizarre five-run rally in the sixth that included three consecutive scratch singles, two bases-loaded walks and a two-run sacrifice fly by McLouth when Maybin made his sensational catch.

Braves starter Mike Minor lasted only four innings, the shortest outing in his five career starts. He allowed nine hits, eight for extra bases, and six runs to hike his ERA to 5.33. Damage would have been worse had he not picked off Maybin and Hanley Ramirez.

"I couldn't spot my fastball," Minor said. "And my curveball was terrible."

Alex Sanabia held Atlanta to one hit over the first 4 1/3 innings but failed to get an out in the sixth. He gave up six hits and five runs.

Ramirez drove in three runs, hit his 20th homer and extended his hitting streak to 12 games.

Notes

  • Braves RHP Derek Lowe, who skipped a scheduled start for the first time in his career Friday because of right elbow pain, played catch Sunday and said he felt better after receiving a cortisone shot. He plans to throw in the bullpen Monday and said he expects to make his scheduled start Wednesday at Pittsburgh.
  • Rain delayed the game for 23 minutes in the bottom of the fifth inning.
  • Marlins rookie Mike Stanton, who struck out pinch-hitting, is 1 for 30 against the Braves this season with 16 strikeouts.
  • Braves manager Bobby Cox gave Glaus a start at 1B, resting Derrek Lee.
  • Atlanta's Freddie Freeman singled in the ninth for his first major league hit.
 
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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A happy Scott Cousins is hugged by Hanley Ramirez and manager Edwin Rodriguez after driving in the winning run. (AP)
A happy Scott Cousins is hugged by Hanley Ramirez and manager Edwin Rodriguez after driving in the winning run. (AP)

Players of the Game
Florida

H. Ramirez
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Atlanta

N. McLouth
AB 3
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 3
 

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Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Omar Infante, 2B5120000 .342
Jason Heyward, RF5110032 .281
Martin Prado, 3B5110000 .316
Brian McCann, C4101100 .281
Troy Glaus, 1B3011010 .242
    Diory Hernandez, PR0100000 .125
    Kyle Farnsworth, P0000000 .000
    Jonny Venters, P0000000 .000
   a- Brooks Conrad, PH1000010 .244
    Takashi Saito, P0000000 .000
    Derrek Lee, 1B1010000 .248
Alex Gonzalez, SS5120004 .261
Melky Cabrera, LF3001112 .260
Nate McLouth, CF3013010 .168
Mike Minor, P1000010 .000
   b- Eric Hinske, PH1000001 .252
    Peter Moylan, P0000000 .000
   c- Freddie Freeman, PH-1B2010001 .143
    Rick Ankiel, PR0000000 .239
    Eric O'Flaherty, P0000000 .000
Totals39610628  
a-struck out for Venters in the 8th
b-flied out for Minor in the 5th
c-grounded out for Moylan in the 6th
Batting
2B - Derrek Lee (27, Badenhop), Alex Gonzalez (37, Sanabia)
SF - Nate McLouth (2)
RBI - Brian McCann (72), Troy Glaus (71), Melky Cabrera (39), Nate McLouth 3 (17)
2-OUT RBI - Nate McLouth (1)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Prado-Glaus
E - Troy Glaus (9, Dropped fly)
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Mike Minor 4966051 5.33
Peter Moylan 1100100 3.23
Kyle Farnsworth 1000010 3.23
Jonny Venters 1100030 1.77
Takashi Saito 1000020 2.70
Eric O'Flaherty (L,3-2) 1211010 2.27
WP - Peter Moylan (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Minor 84-54, Peter Moylan 23-14, Kyle Farnsworth 18-13, Jonny Venters 20-15, Takashi Saito 17-11, Eric O'Flaherty 19-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Minor 2-3, Peter Moylan 2-0, Kyle Farnsworth 2-0, Eric O'Flaherty 2-0
Batters Faced - Mike Minor 19, Peter Moylan 4, Kyle Farnsworth 3, Jonny Venters 4, Takashi Saito 3, Eric O'Flaherty 5
Florida Marlins
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Emilio Bonifacio, RF5230011 .271
Logan Morrison, LF4231011 .312
   a- Scott Cousins, PH1011000 .500
Hanley Ramirez, SS3123111 .304
Dan Uggla, 2B4000021 .281
Gaby Sanchez, 1B4110011 .284
Wes Helms, 3B4111010 .238
Cameron Maybin, CF4010020 .233
Brad Davis, C3011000 .281
Alex Sanabia, P1000010 .000
    Chris Leroux, P0000000 .000
    Jose Veras, P0000000 .000
   b- Hector Luna, PH1000010 .111
    Clay Hensley, P0000000 .000
   c- Mike Stanton, PH1000010 .233
    Burke Badenhop, P0000000 .000
Totals357137112  
a-singled for Morrison in the 10th
b-struck out for Veras in the 7th
c-struck out for Hensley in the 9th
Batting
2B - Emilio Bonifacio (5, Minor), Logan Morrison 2 (13, Minor, Moylan), Gaby Sanchez (35, Minor), Wes Helms (9, Minor), Brad Davis (3, Minor)
3B - Emilio Bonifacio (2, O'Flaherty), Logan Morrison (4, Minor)
HR - Hanley Ramirez (20, Minor)
SF - Brad Davis (3)
SH - Alex Sanabia (3)
RBI - Logan Morrison (12), Scott Cousins (1), Hanley Ramirez 3 (73), Wes Helms (32), Brad Davis (7)
CS - Hanley Ramirez (10, 3rd base by Minor/McCann), Cameron Maybin (2, 2nd base by Minor/McCann)
Team LOB - 4
Florida Marlins
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Alex Sanabia 5655160 4.50
Chris Leroux (BS,1) 1111100 6.35
Jose Veras 1000010 2.92
Clay Hensley 2200010 2.59
Burke Badenhop (W,2-5) 1100000 3.95
Pitches-Strikes - Alex Sanabia 91-59, Chris Leroux 17-8, Jose Veras 12-9, Clay Hensley 27-16, Burke Badenhop 19-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Alex Sanabia 2-7, Chris Leroux 1-2, Jose Veras 2-0, Clay Hensley 3-2, Burke Badenhop 2-1
Batters Faced - Alex Sanabia 22, Chris Leroux 5, Jose Veras 3, Clay Hensley 8, Burke Badenhop 4
Game Information
Attendance - 19504
Game Time - 3:25
Temperature - 89
Umpires - Home - Dana DeMuth, First Base - C.B. Bucknor, Second Base - Kerwin Danley, Third Base - Doug Eddings