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Stanton, McGehee key rally, Marlins beat Braves for sweep

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The Canadian Press
5/1/2014 10:41:56 PM
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MIAMI -- The Miami Marlins proved they can win the close ones, too.

After scoring 18 runs in their last two wins, the Marlins found that winning a tight game can be just as enjoyable.

Giancarlo Stanton and Casey McGehee hit consecutive run-scoring singles off David Carpenter during a two-run rally in the seventh inning that led the Marlins to a 5-4 win over the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night and a three-game sweep of the NL East leader.

"Honestly, I like wins, I don't care how we get them," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "9-0 is fun, but a game like tonight, 5-4, where you're putting guys in some situations they haven't been in and see how they respond, that's fun too."

Miami has won six straight home games for the first time at Marlins Park, which opened in 2012. It is the longest home winning streak for the team since the Marlins won eight in a row from June 20 to July 1, 2009.

With the Marlins trailing 4-3, pinch-hitter Reed Johnson singled off Ian Thomas (1-1) leading off the seventh and took second on Christian Yelich's single. Derek Dietrich lined out, and Carpenter relieved and gave up the back-to-back hits.

"We've done a really good job in putting ourselves in situations to have a chance late in games," McGehee said. "Fortunately, tonight we were able to get some hits that were big."

Mike Dunn (3-3) pitched a hitless seventh, and Steve Cishek got four outs for his sixth save in seven chances to complete the Marlins' first series sweep of Atlanta since 2009. Cishek relieved with two on and two outs in the eighth, walked Andrelton Simmons, then struck out pinch-hitter Ramiro Pena and pitched a perfect ninth. The Marlins' bullpen allowed one hit in three shutout innings.

Cishek admitted being a bit nervous between the eighth and ninth innings.

"I was pacing around the dugout," he said. "I wanted the offence to get more runs, of course, but I was just trying to stay focused and stay sharp mentally and make sure I was ready to get back out there and get the job done."

The Marlins swept Atlanta at home for the first time since June 13-15, 2006.

"It's huge for us," Redmond said. "These guys keep battling and keep pushing forward and moving on and really picking each other up playing with a lot of energy out there."

Garrett Jones had a home run for the Marlins. Evan Gattis and B.J. Upton homered for the Braves.

Marlins starter Henderson Alvarez allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings, giving up multiple homers in a game for the first time since Sept. 24, 2012. Atlanta starter Ervin Santana gave up three runs and five hits in six innings.

The last time the Braves lost three straight was Sept. 15-17, 2013.

"The way they scored in the seventh inning, they got a couple balls to drop and they got some ground balls that got through the infield off of Carpenter," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We had some opportunities. Now we take a flight home and stop this losing streak."

Miami led 2-0 in the third when Justin Heyward, batting with one on, grounded softly to Jones at first, who tossed to Alvarez covering the base. Heyward was initially called out by first base umpire Jim Reynolds, but the call was reversed by the review umpire in New York when a replay showed Alvarez missed the bag and the tag. Upton followed with a three-run homer.

Adeiny Hechavarria hit an RBI grounder in the fourth, but Gattis' homer put Atlanta back ahead in the sixth.

NOTES: Upton has hit safely in 15 of the last 18 games in which he has had an at-bat. ... Braves RHP Gavin Floyd is expected to be activated by Sunday and initially pitch out of the bullpen. . McGehee got his 300th RBI in the first inning. ... The Marlins finished April with an 11-4 home record, a 2.40 home ERA and a .307 home batting average. They ranked first in the majors in home wins. ... The Marlins' nine-game homestand continues Friday with the opener of a weekend set against the Los Angeles Dodgers. ... Atlanta returns home Friday to play a weekend series against San Francisco.

Giancarlo Stanton (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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