Tuesday April 14, 2009
ATLANTA (AP) — Dan Uggla drove in three runs, Chris Volstad and two relievers combined on a four-hitter and the Florida Marlins beat the Atlanta Braves 5-1 on Tuesday night.
The Marlins are a big league best 6-1 — all against NL East opponents — for their best start since opening 1997 with an 8-1 record.
Volstad (2-0) gave up three hits and one run in seven innings. He struck out four and walked two batters while lowering his ERA to 1.50. He has allowed only five hits in 12 innings.
Uggla drove in two runs with a third-inning single off Javier Vazquez (0-1).
Kelly Johnson led off the fourth with his third homer for Atlanta's first hit off Volstad. Leo Nunez and Matt Lindstrom each pitched a scoreless inning in relief of Volstad.
The Braves' only other threat came in the sixth, when pinch-hitter Martin Prado hit a leadoff double and Volstad walked Yunel Escobar. The runners were stranded at second and third on infield groundouts by Chipper Jones and Brian McCann.
Vazquez struck out 12 in six innings, which tied for the fourth-highest total of his career, while giving up five hits and three runs. He set a career high with 14 strikeouts for Montreal against the Chicago Cubs on April 9, 2003, and had two games with 13 strikeouts.
Vazquez struck out the side in the third, but gave up three runs on three hits and a walk in the inning. After one-out singles by Emilio Bonifacio and John Baker, Hanley Ramirez struck out and Ross Gload walked to load the bases. Uggla's single past Escobar into center field drove in two runs, and Gload scored on a wild pitch.
Braves left fielder Garret Anderson dropped two balls in foul territory for errors, matching his combined two errors in 498 chances for the 2006-08 seasons with the Angels.
Anderson's drop of Bonifacio's foul ball helped the Marlins score two runs, including one unearned, in the eighth. Bonifacio singled and scored on Baker's double to left off Jeff Bennett.
After Ramirez singled and stole second base and Gload walked to load the bases, Uggla hit a run-scoring single to right. Jeff Francoeur threw out Ramirez at the plate.