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Atlanta at Miami

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Atlanta (88-58) «004200000690
Miami (54-91)001000000170

Braves' Garcia wins; Freeman collects three hits on b-day

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MIAMI -- The game had all the earmarks of low-stakes September baseball, with a small crowd and two spot starters in a matchup of first- and last-place teams.

Bring on Freddy Garcia.

The well-traveled 36-year-old right-hander earned his second NL victory since 2007, and his first since he joined the Atlanta Braves last month, pitching six innings to help beat the Miami Marlins 6-1 on Thursday.

"Freddy wore the MVP pants today," teammate Freddie Freeman said. "What he did was pretty awesome."

Freeman had three hits on his 24th birthday, including his 20th home run. Chris Johnson also had three hits to raise his average to .330.

Garcia (1-1) allowed five hits and one run. What was working for him?

"Everything," he said with a smile.

"He's a veteran guy," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He knows how to maneuver himself through a major-league lineup -- put a little on it, take a little off and never give you the same look."

Garcia made his first start for the NL East leaders in place of rookie left-hander Alex Wood, whose turn was skipped to give him a breather. A two-time AL All-Star, Garcia lowered his ERA since joining the Braves to 1.32 in 13 2/3 innings.

He could be valuable in October, when the games become much more important.

"Hopefully I'll continue to pitch the way I've been pitching," he said. "Whatever they need me to do, I'm ready for."

Three relievers completed a seven-hitter. Jordan Walden, who had been sidelined by a groin injury, pitched a scoreless seventh in his first appearance since Aug. 21.

"We wanted to give him an inning and make sure he's OK," Gonzalez said. "That's a big piece we haven't had. That will take a little burden off some of the other guys we have been using a lot."

There were no testy encounters less than 24 hours after a bench-clearing confrontation during the Braves' victory Wednesday night.

The crowd of 15,274 was the Marlins' smallest at home since July 1. They're last in the NL in attendance.

Brian Flynn (0-1), making his second major-league start, walked six and allowed six runs in four innings.

"After an emotional night last night, we needed somebody to go out there, really pound the strike zone and put up some zeros," Miami manager Mike Redmond said. "And that just didn't happen."

Flynn was given the start in place of Nate Eovaldi, who was scratched because of a stiff back. Eovaldi won't pitch until Monday at the earliest.

The Marlins went 2-5 on their homestand. They have the NL's worst record and have lost 27 of their past 38 games.

Evan Gattis and Johnson hit consecutive two-run doubles in the third after Flynn walked the bases loaded to start the inning. Freeman's two-out, two-run homer in the fourth made it 6-1.

Freeman reached the 20-homer milestone for the third year in a row, leaving him 11 seasons behind former teammate Chipper Jones' 14-year streak.

"We always jab at each other," Freeman said. "Three down, 11 more to go. I guess I can shoot him a text message, and that's another one down. But I've got a long ways to go."

Donovan Solano had a two-out RBI single in the third to score Miami's run.

Notes

  • Marlins LHP Brad Hand will make his first start of the year Friday when the Marlins open an 11-game trip against the Mets. RHP Henderson Alvarez and RHP Jacob Turner will start for Miami in a doubleheader Saturday.
  • Atlanta won the season series 13-6.
  • In the past three games, the Braves have hit .158 (6 for 38) with runners in scoring position.
  • Solano improved his average with runners in scoring position to .371.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Getting a spot start for the Braves, Freddy Garcia earns the win with six innings and only five hits allowed.  (USATSI)
Getting a spot start for the Braves, Freddy Garcia earns the win with six innings and only five hits allowed. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

F. Freeman
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
Atlanta

F. Garcia
IP 6.0
H 5
ER 1
BB 1
K 3
 
Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Elliot Johnson, LF4110101 .202
Justin Upton, RF2200321 .256
Freddie Freeman, 1B4232100 .309
Evan Gattis, C5112022 .247
Chris Johnson, 3B5032001 .330
   Paul Janish, 3B0000000 .189
Andrelton Simmons, SS2000101 .249
Dan Uggla, 2B4000025 .180
B.J. Upton, CF4010013 .192
Freddy Garcia, P2000012 .000
   Jordan Walden, P0000000 .000
   a-Joe Terdoslavich, PH1000010 .233
   David Carpenter, P0000000 .000
   Anthony Varvaro, P0000000 .000
Totals3369669  
a-struck out for Walden in the 8th
Batting
2B - Evan Gattis (18, Flynn), Chris Johnson 2 (32, Flynn)
HR - Freddie Freeman (20, Flynn)
SH - Freddy Garcia (2)
RBI - Freddie Freeman 2 (98), Evan Gattis 2 (57), Chris Johnson 2 (63)
2-OUT RBI - Freddie Freeman 2 (45)
CS - Elliot Johnson (1, 2nd base by Flynn/Brantly)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Uggla-Simmons-Freeman
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Freddy Garcia (W,4-6) 6511130 4.86
Jordan Walden 1100000 2.42
David Carpenter 1100020 1.99
Anthony Varvaro 1000020 2.75
Pitches-Strikes - Freddy Garcia 81-50, Jordan Walden 10-7, David Carpenter 20-11, Anthony Varvaro 8-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Freddy Garcia 10-5, Jordan Walden 1-1, David Carpenter 1-0, Anthony Varvaro 1-0
Batters Faced - Freddy Garcia 24, Jordan Walden 3, David Carpenter 4, Anthony Varvaro 3
Miami Marlins
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Chris Coghlan, LF4000011 .269
Donovan Solano, 2B4011010 .250
Christian Yelich, CF3020100 .290
Giancarlo Stanton, RF4010022 .253
Logan Morrison, 1B4000003 .250
Ed Lucas, 3B-SS4010021 .237
Adeiny Hechavarria, SS2000001 .227
   Sam Dyson, P0000000 .000
   a-Juan Pierre, PH1010000 .248
   Arquimedes Caminero, P0000000 .000
   b-Jacob Marisnick, PH1000010 .183
Rob Brantly, C3110001 .218
Brian Flynn, P0000000 .500
   Placido Polanco, 3B2000000 .250
Totals3217117  
a-singled for Dyson in the 7th
b-struck out for Caminero in the 9th
Batting
SH - Brian Flynn (1)
RBI - Donovan Solano (29)
2-OUT RBI - Donovan Solano (13)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Solano-Hechavarria-Morrison
Miami Marlins
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Brian Flynn (L,0-1) 4666641 10.13
Sam Dyson 3200020 4.50
Arquimedes Caminero 2100030 4.32
HBP - Simmons (by Sam Dyson)
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Flynn 96-55, Sam Dyson 24-16, Arquimedes Caminero 29-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Flynn 4-2, Sam Dyson 5-2, Arquimedes Caminero 1-2
Batters Faced - Brian Flynn 22, Sam Dyson 12, Arquimedes Caminero 7
Game Information
Attendance - 15274
Game Time - 2:36
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Andy Fletcher, First Base - Rob Drake, Second Base - Joe West, Third Base - Sam Holbrook