• My Scores
  • MLB
  • NBA
  • NHL
  • NFL Draft

Florida at Atlanta

Scoreboard
Florida (67-81)010000000140
Atlanta (86-64) «00000040x450

Gonzalez powers wild card-leading Braves past Marlins

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

ATLANTA -- Alex Gonzalez isn't too concerned about the pressure of a wild-card race.

"You have to leave it outside," he said. "You have to do your job. This time of the season, for me, pressure doesn't work."

Gonzalez hit a three-run homer and Martin Prado bunted in a run during a four-run seventh inning as the revived Atlanta Braves beat the Florida Marlins 4-1 on Wednesday to maintain their lead in the NL wild-card race.

More on Marlins at Braves
Related links
Updating MLB news | Follow on Twitter

Atlanta has won two straight following a season-high four-game losing streak. The victory kept the Braves 4½ games ahead of St. Louis, which won 3-2 at Pittsburgh.

"We know we've got a great team," Gonzalez said. "We've got a great leader [in manager Fredi Gonzalez]. We've got great pitching. We've got a great bullpen. I just go out there and do the best I can."

Five Braves combined on a four-hitter, and the Marlins didn't get a hit after the third or a runner after the fifth.

Cristhian Martinez, Eric O'Flaherty (2-4), Jonny Venters and rookie Craig Kimbrel each pitched a perfect inning, with Kimbrel striking out the side for his major league-leading 44th save in 49 chances.

O'Flaherty lowered his ERA two points to 1.05 ERA, best among major-league relievers.

"It's not easy against their bullpen," Florida first baseman Gaby Sanchez said. "They've done a heck of a job the whole year. It's not fun going up there and having to face them."

Greg Dobbs hit a home run in the second off Randall Delgado, and Ricky Nolasco (10-11) held the lead until the seventh.

Dan Uggla walked with one out and went to third on Brian McCann's single, the Braves' third hit. Prado squared as Nolasco released a pitch, and the ball bounced softly inside the first-base line as Uggla scored without a play. Prado wound up with a bunt single.

"I was trying to go to first the whole time," Nolasco said. "I just didn't field it cleanly. It should've been an out. Obviously, I didn't make the play. I'm pretty sure Martin thought it was an out, too, until I bobbled it. He started running after that. It's frustrating."

Fredi Gonzalez credited Prado with being fundamentally sound to keep the inning alive.

"That was a hell of an execution on his part," the manager said. "Just trying to get a run. We were running and we were able to execute."

When Prado got the safety squeeze sign from third-base coach Brian Snitker, he was only hoping Nolasco would throw a fastball.

"It's been a while since I got a bunt down," Prado said. "In that situation, you can't be too late and you can't be too early or they find out what you're doing. I always get tough pitches to bunt, like sliders. Finally, I got a fastball."

Alex Gonzalez connected on an 0-2 count with two outs, his 13th of the year. He went 2 for 3 and finished the series 8 for 11 (.727) with five RBI against his former team.

"The last couple weeks, we've been kind of tight," he said. "But I try to do the best I can to take it day by day, inning by inning. Try to do the little things."

Notes

  • Nolasco was coming off a 13-4 victory at Pittsburgh last Friday, but was 0-2 with a 9.27 ERA in his previous four starts. In 19 career games, including 18 starts, Nolasco is 5-7 with a 4.76 ERA against Atlanta.
  • Mike Dunn pitched the eighth for Florida.
  • Atlanta took an 11-4 lead in the season series.
  • Florida will play a doubleheader Thursday at Philadelphia to make up the twinbill that was postponed Aug. 27 by Hurricane Irene. RHP Anibal Sanchez will try to win his second successive start in the first game. He pitched a 3-0 shutout last Saturday at Pittsburgh. RHP Alex Sanabia, who has never faced the Phillies, will make his first start this season in the second game. He is 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA in six career road starts.
  • The Braves are off Thursday. Atlanta will start RHPs Derek Lowe, Tim Hudson and Brandon Beachy in three games this weekend against the New York Mets.
 
Copyright 2015 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.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Players of the Game
Atlanta

A. Gonzalez
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Atlanta

M. Prado
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 

Related Video

Florida Marlins
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Emilio Bonifacio, RF4000030 .291
Bryan Petersen, CF3000100 .275
Omar Infante, 2B4010001 .279
Greg Dobbs, LF4111011 .285
Gaby Sanchez, 1B4000000 .266
Donnie Murphy, SS3010010 .152
   a- John Baker, PH1000010 .200
Matt Dominguez, 3B2000111 .261
Brett Hayes, C3010011 .222
Ricky Nolasco, P3000012 .093
    Mike Dunn, P0000000 .000
Totals3114129  
a-struck out for Murphy in the 9th
Batting
HR - Greg Dobbs (8, Delgado)
RBI - Greg Dobbs (49)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Infante-Murphy-G. Sanchez
Florida Marlins
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Ricky Nolasco (L,10-11) 7544251 4.42
Mike Dunn 1000010 3.30
WP - Ricky Nolasco (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Ricky Nolasco 95-60, Mike Dunn 12-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ricky Nolasco 8-7, Mike Dunn 1-1
Batters Faced - Ricky Nolasco 27, Mike Dunn 3
Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Michael Bourn, CF3000110 .299
Chipper Jones, 3B4000012 .283
Freddie Freeman, 1B4000010 .292
Dan Uggla, 2B2100100 .235
Brian McCann, C3110000 .278
Martin Prado, LF3121000 .263
Jason Heyward, RF3000013 .221
Alex Gonzalez, SS3123010 .238
Randall Delgado, P1000011 .000
    Cristhian Martinez, P0000000 .333
   a- Brooks Conrad, PH1000000 .237
    Eric O'Flaherty, P0000000 .000
   b- Jose Constanza, PH1000000 .317
    Jonny Venters, P0000000 .000
    Craig Kimbrel, P0000000 .000
Totals2845426  
a-grounded out for Cr. Martinez in the 6th
b-grounded out for O'Flaherty in the 7th
Batting
HR - Alex Gonzalez (13, Nolasco)
RBI - Martin Prado (53), Alex Gonzalez 3 (53)
2-OUT RBI - Alex Gonzalez 3 (20)
Team LOB - 2
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Randall Delgado 5411241 3.24
Cristhian Martinez 1000010 3.34
Eric O'Flaherty (W,2-4) 1000020 1.05
Jonny Venters (H,32) 1000000 1.52
Craig Kimbrel (S,44) 1000020 1.73
Pitches-Strikes - Randall Delgado 101-63, Cristhian Martinez 7-6, Eric O'Flaherty 12-9, Jonny Venters 15-8, Craig Kimbrel 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randall Delgado 3-8, Cristhian Martinez 1-1, Eric O'Flaherty 1-0, Jonny Venters 3-0
Batters Faced - Randall Delgado 21, Cristhian Martinez 3, Eric O'Flaherty 3, Jonny Venters 3, Craig Kimbrel 3
Game Information
Attendance - 22245
Game Time - 2:22
Temperature - 85
Umpires - Home - Jerry Layne, First Base - Bob Davidson, Second Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Third Base - Brian Knight