MIAMI (Ticker) --
's second time through the
' lineup did not go as smoothly as his first.
hit a three-run homer off Kensing in the fourth inning, and
worked in and out of trouble to win for the fourth time in five starts as the Braves coasted to an 8-1 victory over the
on Friday night.
After the Braves failed to record a hit off Kensing (0-2) through three innings,
led off the fourth with a single and stole second. J.D. Drew followed with a walk before Jones sent a 1-0 pitch from Kensing over the left field wall to give Atlanta a 3-1 lead.
"I think we needed to go through the lineup once to get a better look at him," Jones said.
It was the 29th homer of the year for Jones, who needs 12 RBI in the Braves' final 14 games to reach the 100-RBI plateau for the ninth straight season. He had driven in just 26 runs through June.
Atlanta batted around and scored one more time in the fourth off Kensing before breaking open the game against reliever
with three runs in the fifth, highlighted by
's two-run single.
"This was a big win for us," Jones said. "I was concerned if we would come down here and match their intensity, and I'm glad to know that we did," Jones said.
Giles and LaRoche each collected three hits and Drew added a solo homer in the ninth as the Braves defeated the Marlins for the third straight time.
Byrd (8-5) was far from sharp but allowed just one run despite surrendering nine hits in five innings.
"I threw a lot of strikes, but not a lot of quality strikes," Byrd said. "It looks like I threw a great game, but I threw too many down the middle of the plate. Fortunately, the guys behind me kept making big plays. They were on base all night, but I was able to get out of trouble."
The Marlins pounded out 13 hits and had a runner in scoring postion in six different innings but failed to take advantage, managing just an RBI single by
in the third.
"If you don't cash in, it comes back to haunt you," Florida manager Jack McKeon said. "We can't afford to lose too many. Opportunity was knocking, but we didn't open the door."
Kensing, who was making his second start since being promoted from Class A Jupiter on September 10, allowed four runs and four hits while walking five in four innings.
It was the second straight rough outing for Kensing, who was tagged for five runs in two innings in his only other start, an 11-2 loss to the Cubs.
"You have to get your feet wet sometime," Kensing said. "Hopefully, the next time out I'll be better. I had too many walks, and walks are killers."
The win reduced the Braves' magic number to clinch the National League East Division to eight. The Marlins dropped further behind San Francisco and Chicago in the NL wild card race.
"This was a big tone-setter," Jones said. "If they play well in this first one, then they're thinking that they're still in it. Florida is one of those teams fighting for their playoff lives, so we know we have to be ready."