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Updated: Saturday, April 17, 2004 12:31 AM EDT
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ATLANTA 5, FLORIDA 4
 

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Chipper Jones and Julio Franco came up big for the Atlanta Braves .

Jones delivered a tying two-run homer in the sixth inning and Franco added a go-ahead RBI single as the Braves ended the seven-game winning streak of the Florida Marlins with a 5-4 victory.

Florida starter Darren Oliver (1-1) took a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning and retired his first two hitters. Marcus Giles kept the inning alive with a double and Jones followed by driving Oliver's next pitch over the left field wall to tie the game.

"He threw me a curveball (on the) first pitch to get ahead," Jones said. "I was able to get the fat part of the bat on it and eke it over the fence."

Perhaps still shaken, Oliver surrendered a double to Andruw Jones , who scored on Franco's single as Atlanta took its first lead. The four straight hits came in a span of seven pitches.

"Two pitches and boom! Boom! That sums up the whole game," said Oliver, who had retired 12 straight batters before surrendering the double to Giles. "But we knew we weren't going to go 161-1."

It was the second time this season that the 45-year old Franco has helped the Braves rally by driving in the winning run.

"In a situation where we needed it, I came through," Franco said. "Even if it's April, you don't want to fall behind. You want to be with the pack. If you're left behind, it's over."

"That guy is unbelievable," Chipper Jones said. "I don't care how old he is. He gets big knock after big knock."

Atlanta starter Jaret Wright (1-0) allowed four runs - one earned - and five hits in six innings. Kevin Gryboski and Chris Reitsma each worked a scoreless inning before closer John Smoltz finished up with a perfect ninth for his second save in three chances.

Florida's 31-inning scoreless streak ended when Eli Marrero belted a two-run homer with two outs in the second inning off Oliver for a 2-2 tie.

"I tried to keep the ball down and left it over the plate," said Oliver, who surrendered the first homer by a Marlins pitcher since April 7 vs. Montreal. "He did what he was supposed to do with it."

The Marlins took a 2-0 lead in the first inning thanks to some shoddy Braves defense. After Luis Castillo and Miguel Cabrera walked, Mike Lowell singled in Castillo. Cabrera also scored on the play after second baseman Giles failed to catch a throw from third baseman Mark DeRosa .

Another Giles error allowed the Marlins to score two unearned runs in the third. After Castillo led off with a single, Giles dropped a throw from shortstop Jesse Garcia . Mike Lowell followed with an RBI single and Mike Redmond lofted a sacrifice fly for a 4-2 lead.

The Braves did all their scoring with two outs.

"We never give up. We all want to come back, whatever the score is," Giles said. "On paper we might not have a lineup like the Yankees, but we'll take heart over talent any time."


© 2005 STATS, Inc
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