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Updated: Wednesday, June 30, 2004 12:09 AM EDT
MLB RECAP
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FLORIDA 5, ATLANTA 4
 

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- The Florida Marlins added to Mike Hampton 's woes.

Mike Lowell and Miguel Cabrera hit back-to-back home runs off Hampton with two outs in the fifth inning and Josias Manzanillo won for the first time in almost three years as the Florida Marlins posted a 5-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves .

Looking to win back-to-back starts for the first time this season, Hampton (2-8) surrendered five runs and six hits in five innings.

While Hampton defeated Florida in his last start, his only previous win this season came on May 23, when he tossed six scoreless innings in a 5-1 win over Los Angeles.

Hampton's first-inning struggles continued as he gave up three runs in the top of the first. He has surrendered 18 of his 57 runs allowed this season in the opening frame.

"It seems like it takes me getting kicked in the face before the first pitch," Hampton said. "It's pretty sad. I've been around this game for a while. It's pretty sad I can't make an adjustment to get better."

"(Braves pitching coach) Leo (Mazzone) needs to kick him in the face down in the bullpen, if that's what he needs," added Atlanta third baseman Chipper Jones added. "He needs to be ready for that first hitter in the first inning, that's for sure."

Hampton appeared to settle down after the first and the Braves tied the game, 3-3, in the fourth.

After Jones grounded out to start the inning, 45-year old Julio Franco became the 96th player in major league history to collect 2,400 hits with a single to center field. Andruw Jones followed with a single, and Eli Marrero belted a three-run home run over the wall in left-center field.

However, Hampton quickly gave away the lead in the top of the fifth. After recording two easy groundouts to start the inning, Lowell and Cabrera homered to give the Marlins the lead for good.

"It was a fastball," Lowell said. "I think it was a little belt high and I got my arms extended. That's a good combination."

"Good hitters hit bad pitches," added Hampton, who has surrendered 10 homers this season. "It was a poor job of pitching. That's all it was."

The Braves drew within 5-4 on Chipper Jones ' RBI single in the bottom of the fifth that chased starter Dontrelle Willis , who gave up nine hits in 4 1/3 innings. But Manzanillo (1-1) followed and allowed just one hit in 2 1/3 innings to record his first victory since August 8, 2001.

"I think when you win, you're always happy," Manzanillo said. "It's a great feeling. My key is control. As long as I have control, I'll be fine."

Ben Howard got the first out in the eighth before Armando Benitez , who was pitching for the first time in six days, tossed 1 2/3 innings for his 26th save. After walking J.D. Drew and Jones with two outs in the ninth, Benitez got Franco to pop up to end it.

"What I do personally is not important as long as we win," Benitez said. "I'm happy for (Manzanillo). I'm glad what I did for him."

The Braves were denied their first four-game winning streak of the season.

"It's hard, but you can't forget about our effort," Chipper Jones said. "We played a game and it ended up being two big swings of the bat in the fifth inning that did us in. If we play like we did tonight, we're going to be okay."


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