Marlins 5, Braves 4(12)

The Florida Marlins seemed to enjoy spoiling Atlanta’s hopes of

moving closer to a playoff berth.

They’re hoping to have more success in the role as they approach

the end of a disappointing season.

Mike Stanton’s pinch-hit single in the 12th inning drove in the

go-ahead run and Florida beat Atlanta 5-4 on Monday night to extend

the NL wild card-leading Braves’ slump.

The Marlins still have five more games left against Atlanta,

including three games at Florida on Sept. 19-21.

”If you don’t get the opportunity to play in the playoffs, it’s

fun to see how we can affect the outcome,” said Florida’s Donnie

Murphy.

The Marlins won despite holding their three starting

outfielders, including Stanton, out of the lineup for the third

straight game.

Manager Jack McKeon said left fielder Logan Morrison, who has a

bruised left knee, will miss the series. Morrison was having an MRI

on the knee on Monday.

Mike Cameron, the regular in center field, struck out as a

pinch-hitter in the 10th. Cameron and Stanton have strained right

hamstrings.

Right-hander Javier Vazquez replaced Stanton as a

pinch-runner.

Despite the injuries, the Marlins have won four straight. McKeon

joked that his starting outfielders may have difficulty regaining

their jobs.

”The guys are playing good,” McKeon said. ”I hate to break

this lineup up.”

Clay Hensley (4-6) pitched two scoreless innings for the win.

Leo Nunez pitched the 12th for his 35th save.

Chris Volstad gave up two runs and seven hits and a walk in five

innings.

Braves rookie right-hander Anthony Varvaro (0-2) walked John

Buck to lead off the 12th. Pinch-runner Brett Hayes moved to second

on Bryan Peterson’s sacrifice before Varvaro issued an intentional

walk to Murphy.

Stanton lined a 1-2 pitch from Cristhian Martinez into left

field to drive in Hayes. He said he approached the at-bat as if he

was starting a new game.

”It’s kind of like my first inning,” Stanton said, adding that

pinch-hitting means ”it’s usually more important situations.”

McKeon said he was tempted to use Stanton as a pinch-hitter

earlier in the game.

”I tried to use him two or three times during the game,”

McKeon said. ”I was debating.”

The Braves, coming off a 2-6 road trip, have lost four straight

and nine of 12. They still lead St. Louis by 4 1/2 games in the

wild-card race.

”We’re still in a good spot despite coming off a losing road

trip and losing this one the way we did,” said Brandon Beachy, who

struck out 10, one shy of his career high, but gave up four runs

and nine hits in 5 1-3 innings.

”We’re still confident in our abilities,” Beachy said.

”We’ve got a 4 1/2-game lead with 14 left in the season. We

should definitely make the playoffs and once that happens we can

regroup and refocus and get things done.”

The Braves had an assist from Pittsburgh, which beat St. Louis

6-5 on Monday night to keep the Cardinals from gaining ground in

the wild-card race.

The Braves couldn’t score in the ninth after loading the bases

with one out. Michael Bourn, who led off the inning with a double

to the left-field wall, was stranded on third as Steve Cishek

struck out Brian McCann on a called third strike before ending the

threat on Martin Prado’s groundout.

The frustrations continued when the Braves stranded runners in

each of the next three innings. McCann struck out in the 11th with

a runner on second.

”I came up twice with a chance to dictate the outcome and came

up empty both times,” McCann said, adding he had ”two horrible

at-bats.”

Nunez walked Jason Heyward to lead off the 12th. Heyward moved

to second on Jack Wilson’s sacrifice. Nunez struck out pinch-hitter

J.C. Boscan and ended the game on Bourn’s grounder to second.

Alex Gonzalez, rejuvenated after a three-day break to rest his

sore lower back, had three hits and drove in two runs, including a

single off Edward Mujica in the eighth that drove in Heyward for a

4-4 tie.

Florida’s Omar Infante had three hits, including a triple in the

first.

Matt Dominguez drove in Bryan Peterson with a single up the

middle in the sixth for his first RBI in the major leagues.

Dominguez scored on a wild pitch from Arodys Vizcaino to give

Florida a 4-2 lead.

NOTES: Braves RHP Tommy Hanson, on the disabled list with right

shoulder tendinitis, said he had normal soreness after throwing in

the bullpen for the first time in St. Louis. He is set for another

bullpen session on Wednesday. … Two rookie left-handers,

Atlanta’s Mike Minor and Florida’s Brad Hand, are scheduled to

pitch in Tuesday night’s game. Minor gave up nine hits and six runs

in four innings in his only previous start against Florida on Sept.

5, 2010. Hand is 0-2 against Atlanta this season and gave up seven

runs in an 8-4 loss to the Braves at Florida on Aug. 8.