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Upton, Heyward spark Braves past Marlins

By GEORGE HENRY
Associated Press
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ATLANTA (AP) Justin Upton is having quite a month.

Upton homered and had three RBIs, Jason Heyward drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning and the Atlanta Braves beat the Miami Marlins 5-2 on Friday night for their third straight win.

With 28 RBIs in 25 games since Aug. 1, Upton considers this to be the best month of his eight-year career. It's helped give him a career-high 91 RBIs this season, three more than he had in 2011 with Arizona.

''Yeah, the guys on front of me have been getting on base, and I've been fortunate to get some hits,'' Upton said. ''As far as run producing, it's probably been the best.''

The Braves, winners in 10 of 14, began the night 1 1/2 games back in the NL wild-card standings, but are just 19-21 since the All-Star break.

Andrelton Simmons led off the seventh against Chris Hatcher (0-2) with a bunt single and advanced to third on pinch-hitter Ramiro Pena's single.

Simmons scored on Heyward's RBI single off Mike Dunn to give the Braves a 3-2 lead. Upton's RBI single off Sam Dyson drove in Heyward from second and Emilio Bonifacio also scored to make it 5-2 when center fielder Marcell Ozuna misplayed the ball.

It was a good example of the Braves trying to manufacture a run instead of taking their usual free-swinging, strikeout-prone approach.

''We're going to have to do that if we're going to win,'' Upton said. ''Every night's not going to be a three-run homer. We're going to have to find ways to scratch runs across. We did that tonight.''

Jordany Valdespin tied it at 2-all in the Miami seventh with a pinch-hit homer, the seventh of his career, off reliever David Carpenter (5-3).

Braves starter Ervin Santana allowed one run, five hits, four walks and struck out seven in six innings.

Marlins starter Tom Koehler walked Freddie Freeman to begin the sixth and gave up Upton's 26th homer, a long shot deep into the seats in left-center, for a 2-1 Atlanta lead.

''I just got a good pitch to hit,'' Upton said. ''In that situation I was just trying to get on base behind Freddie and squared it up.''

Koehler gave up two runs and four hits with three walks and six strikeouts in six innings.

The Marlins have dropped three straight and five of six.

Santana needed 32 pitches to finish the first inning, walking three straight batters to load the bases, but escaped the jam by striking out Garrett Jones on three pitches and retiring Marcell Ozuna on a flyout.

In the sixth, Ozuna doubled into the right-field corner off Santana, scoring Casey McGehee from second to make it 1-0, but Garrett Jones was thrown out at the plate on second baseman Tommy La Stella's relay throw to catcher Evan Gattis.

''When you talk about winning games this time of year, you've got to make plays,'' Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. ''The team that makes plays and gets big hits wins ball games.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

Marlins: Redmond said that RHP Dan Jennings, out since Aug. 8 with a concussion, was making a rehab start Friday and could rejoin the team soon.

Braves: LHP Jonny Venters, who last pitched in 2012, said that he will undergo elbow ligament replacement surgery for the third time and added that ''it never crossed my mind'' to retire.

UP NEXT

Marlins RHP Jarred Cosart (11-8) beat the Braves 6-1 on June 26 while pitching for Houston.

Braves RHP Aaron Harang (10-8) is winless with a 5.18 ERA in four starts this year and 5-5 with a 5.99 in 17 career starts against the Marlins.

STAYING HOT

Closer Craig Kimbrel, the fourth Atlanta pitcher, earned his 40th save in 44 chances after facing the minimum in the ninth. ... Upton went 2 for 4 and is hitting.307 with 10 homers and 45 RBIs in his 52 games since the start of July. ... The Braves improved to 69-44 dating back to last season with Heyward batting leadoff.

STILL COLD

Atlanta 1B Freddie Freeman went 0 for 3 and his hitting .056 in 54 at-bats against the Marlins this season. ... Jones dropped to 1 for 12 with the bases loaded this year. ... Braves CF B.J. Upton was out of the lineup for the fourth time in seven games. After hitting a modest .255 in 98 at-bats in July, he's hitting .115 in August.

 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Atlanta

J. Upton
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Miami

M. Ozuna
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Miami Marlins
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLG
Christian Yelich, LF4010000.289.371.423
Donovan Solano, 2B3000110.235.292.310
Giancarlo Stanton, RF2000210.293.403.556
Casey McGehee, 3B3110111.293.361.367
Garrett Jones, 1B4010023.246.316.407
   Brad Penny, P0000000.250.250.500
Marcell Ozuna, CF4031003.266.317.444
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C4000033.231.340.393
Adeiny Hechavarria, SS4000001.275.305.359
Tom Koehler, P2000020.048.070.048
   a-Jordany Valdespin, PH1111000.228.282.392
   Chris Hatcher, P0000000.000.000.000
   Mike Dunn, P0000000.000.000.000
   Sam Dyson, P0000000.000.000.000
   Jeff Baker, 1B0000000.256.301.400
Totals31272410    
a-homered for Koehler in the 7th
Batting
2B - Marcell Ozuna (22, Santana)
HR - Jordany Valdespin (3, Carpenter)
RBI - Marcell Ozuna (72), Jordany Valdespin (7)
CS - Christian Yelich (6, 2nd base by Santana/Gattis)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Solano-G. Jones
E - Garrett Jones (13, Misplayed grounder), Marcell Ozuna (4, Misplayed grounder)
Miami Marlins
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Tom Koehler 6422361 3.79
Chris Hatcher (L,0-2) 0222000 3.45
Mike Dunn 0.2110010 3.28
Sam Dyson 0.1100000 2.35
Brad Penny 1000100 5.40
WP - Tom Koehler (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Tom Koehler 93-60, Chris Hatcher 6-5, Mike Dunn 16-10, Sam Dyson 11-6, Brad Penny 15-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tom Koehler 4-8, Mike Dunn 1-0, Brad Penny 1-2
Batters Faced - Tom Koehler 25, Chris Hatcher 2, Mike Dunn 3, Sam Dyson 2, Brad Penny 4
Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLG
Jason Heyward, RF3121100.271.353.393
Emilio Bonifacio, CF4100004.279.318.365
Freddie Freeman, 1B3100134.289.385.476
Justin Upton, LF4123002.288.362.524
Evan Gattis, C3000111.272.329.509
Chris Johnson, 3B3010111.273.299.375
Tommy La Stella, 2B4010012.268.344.339
   Phil Gosselin, 2B0000000.300.327.380
Andrelton Simmons, SS4110013.247.293.345
Ervin Santana, P2000002.105.121.105
   David Carpenter, P0000000.000.000.000
   a-Ramiro Pena, PH1010000.230.297.333
   Jordan Walden, P0000000.000.000.000
   b-Ryan Doumit, PH1000001.197.237.307
   Craig Kimbrel, P0000000.000.000.000
Totals3258447    
a-singled for Carpenter in the 7th
b-grounded out for Walden in the 8th
Batting
HR - Justin Upton (26, Koehler)
RBI - Jason Heyward (54), Justin Upton 3 (91)
2-OUT RBI - Justin Upton (34)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jason Heyward 1
DP - Freeman-Simmons
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Ervin Santana 6511470 3.53
David Carpenter (W,5-3; BS,3) 1111011 3.55
Jordan Walden (H,19) 1000020 2.27
Craig Kimbrel (S,40) 1100000 1.70
Pitches-Strikes - Ervin Santana 104-66, David Carpenter 14-10, Jordan Walden 12-8, Craig Kimbrel 10-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ervin Santana 4-5, David Carpenter 2-0, Craig Kimbrel 1-1
Batters Faced - Ervin Santana 25, David Carpenter 4, Jordan Walden 3, Craig Kimbrel 3
Game Information
Attendance - 26278
Game Time - 3:01
Temperature - 90
Umpires - Home - Eric Cooper, First Base - Tom Hallion, Second Base - Hal Gibson, Third Base - Chris Guccione