MIAMI(AP) A day that began with so much emotion and squabbling in the clubhouse ended in the best way possible for the
A party at home plate.
hit a game-winning homer,
had a two-run shot after challenging teammate
's effort, and the bickering Marlins beat the
8-7 on Wednesday night.
Helms hit the 3-2 pitch off
(3-4) well over the left-field scoreboard, sending teammates pouring out of the dugout in celebration, with even Ramirez joining
''I think it definitely boosts your level of intensity,'' Helms said of his homer. ''When you win in dramatic fashion, it
just gives everybody confidence. It makes everybody feel good. You go home, you leave the field today with great feelings.''
That's hardly how it started for Florida.
Ramirez said before the game that he ''got some people upset'' for leaving Tuesday's game early with an injury, then Uggla
openly argued with the NL batting leader in the clubhouse that forced a closed-door team meeting.
''I'm glad it happened,'' said Uggla, adding Ramirez is like a brother. ''I'm glad it's over with. I'm glad we've moved on,
and I think we're stronger and closer because of it.''
hit a bases-clearing double, and
finished a home run shy of the cycle to help Florida end a day of infighting with a win.
homered in the top of the ninth off
(4-4) to tie the game. Pinch-hitter
added a three-run double.
But the real fireworks happened well before the first pitch.
After Uggla heard Ramirez's comments while sitting at his locker nearby, he accused Ramirez of a lack of desire and effort
to win. Uggla also said the shortstop wasn't caring because he's already secured a $70 million, six-year contract. Florida
manager Fredi Gonzalez then held a closed-door meeting.
Frustrations had been building with the Marlins losing two straight. They remain five games behind Colorado for the NL wild
card, but moved a game back of the Braves for second in the division.
''It's September baseball,'' Gonzalez said. ''Two teams fighting for the wild card and the division or whatever it is. The
games are ticking away and emotions are going on. It's good to see our guys respond.''
hit a sacrifice fly,
had an RBI single in the first inning that gave the Braves a 2-0 lead.
Gload got things started in the third with a double, and Uggla followed with his 25th home run of the season to tie it.
The Braves took advantage of a Marlins error in the fifth, when Uggla misfired on a throw to second to start what should have
been a routine double play. Escobar later drove in McCann with a single to give Atlanta a 3-2 lead.
''It felt like we won that game but we didn't,'' Braves manager
Things went sour quickly for the Braves.
loaded the bases in the sixth, reliever
gave up a three-run double to pinch-hitter Carroll that started a five-run inning to put Florida in front 7-3. Jones tried
to get the Braves back with a three-run double of his own in the seventh.
then loaded the bases by hitting
, who started to walk toward the mound as the dugouts and bullpens began to clear before retreating.
entered to get
to pop out and end the threat.
''All that I said when I first got out of the box was, 'find a clue,''' Diaz said about the near confrontation. ''Ronny (Paulino)
did the right thing, any catcher would do, which was to stand up and tell the runner to get to first and shut your mouth.''
NOTES: Marlins 1B
(strained hamstring) was scheduled to play five innings with Class-A Jupiter on Wednesday night and could be activated for
the weekend series against the Nationals, Gonzalez said. ... Braves OF
(strained left hamstring) had a workout Wednesday and is scheduled to play with Single-A Rome on Thursday, the team said.
McLouth could be activated for the weekend series against Cincinnati. ... Florida has never had a player hit for the cycle.