ATLANTA(AP) The banner in right field summed up how the
feel about this final week of the season.
pitched five-hit ball over seven innings,
homered and the Braves beat Florida 4-0 Monday night for their 15th win in 17 games, a stretch that has lifted them into playoff
contention with six games left in the regular season.
Atlanta closed within two games of idle Colorado in the NL wild-card race and moved to four behind first-place Philadelphia
in the NL East. The Phillies lost 8-2 at home to Houston.
''We've got a chance to do it,'' said manager
, whose team hasn't made the playoffs since the last of its record 14 straight division titles in 2005. ''You can't get away
from it. We're watching the scoreboard every inning. But really, you can only worry about your own team.''
The Braves haven't caused Cox any worries lately. They won their seventh straight, matching a season high set at the start
of this run, behind another dominant performance by Jurrjens (14-10). The right-hander won his fourth in a row and has gone
at least seven innings in seven straight starts, allowing only eight earned runs in 50 2-3 innings (a 1.42 ERA) during that
finished off the five-hitter with one inning apiece for Atlanta's 10th shutout of the season.
''You've got to feel somewhat confident,'' said Moylan, who set a team record with his 85th appearance of the season. ''We've
still got a long ways to go, six games to go. Anything can happen.''
Moylan joined the Braves after their last playoff appearance and missed most of last season recovering from elbow surgery.
The Aussie has definitely noticed a different feeling in the clubhouse and during the games as he takes part in his first
''I've never had this much nervous adrenaline pumping from the first inning through the sixth inning,'' he said. ''It's crazy.
I guess that's why we play this game. No feeling can top it.''
Florida's third loss in four games all but finished off the Marlins, who dropped 5 1/2 games behind the Rockies and can do
no better than tie for the wild card. One more Florida loss or Colorado win would eliminate the Marlins.
The Braves managed just three hits but took advantage of 11 walks by the Marlins - including a career-worst eight by starter
''I never walked that many, ever,'' he said. ''I don't know what happened.''
Sanchez walked the first three Atlanta hitters, throwing only two strikes, and wound up trailing 2-0 without giving up a hit.
drove in a run with a bases-loaded grounder to first, and
followed with a sacrifice fly.
''The way Jurrjens was pitching, and three walks, we had no chance to win,'' catcher
Florida had its bullpen throwing just 15 pitches into the game, though Sanchez managed to hang around for five innings. He
allowed only two hits, one of them a towering shot by Jones in the third that struck the right-field foul pole about halfway
up, his 18th homer of the season but just his second since Aug. 29.
Jones will need two more over the final week of a disappointing year to become the first player in baseball history to hit
at least 20 homers in each of his first 15 seasons. Jones and
are the only two to start their careers with 14 consecutive 20-homer seasons.
''I guess it's a pretty good time to be rounding into form, 156 games in,'' Jones said sarcastically. ''I would be a lot more
upset if I weren't contributing at this time of year. Especially with the team doing what it's doing.''
Florida got its first two runners aboard in both the sixth and the seventh. Jurrjens pitched out of trouble each time before
turning it over to the bullpen.
The Marlins started the sixth with
's single and a walk to
struck out, failing to check his swing on a low pitch, and Jurrjens retired the next two hitters.
Florida had an even better scoring chance in the seventh when
led off with a double and moved to third on Baker's single. Jurrjens toughened up again, retiring
on a fly to right that wasn't deep enough to score the run, striking out pinch-hitter
and getting Coghlan on a forceout at second.
Even though plenty was at stake, an announced crowd of 25,046 that looked closer to 15,000 turned out at Turner Field on a
night with a hint of fall in the air.
''Hopefully,'' Cox said, ''we will have more of them out here tomorrow and on the weekend.''
NOTES: Jones' homer was his 426th, tying
for 40th on the career list. Next up is
at 427. ... Sanchez's previous career high for walks was six. ...
drew a bases-loaded walk from
in the eighth to bring home Atlanta's final run.