Just when it looked like the Florida Marlins were going to spoil a phenomenal game by Brandon Beachy, Martin Prado decided that was not an option. Prado hit a go-ahead RBI single in the top of the 11th inning to lead the Atlanta Braves to a big win over the Marlins.
Prado, who is having a subpar season by his standards, went 4-for-6 with a home run and three RBIs. Most of Prado's struggles have come since his return from a staph infection, an injury that sapped a lot of his strength since he could only engage in very light physical activity.
“Good for us and good for him," Fredi Gonzalez said of Prado. "Because the last two or three games he’s been so upset at himself, he’s such a perfectionist. I’m glad that he got some opportunities to drive in some runs.”
Prado's clutch hit proved to be even more dramatic that it possibly needed to be. After a leadoff walk to Eric Hinske, pinch runner Jason Heyward was picked off of first base. Michael Bourn then followed with a double that likely would have scored Heyward. However, Prado made sure the baserunning blunder did not matter.
Beachy had one of the finest outings of his young career, tossing 6 2/3 innings with ten strikeouts and giving up two earned runs. He left with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning after walking two batters. Anthony Varvaro came in and gave up a game-tying home run to John Buck, ending Beachy's bid for his sixth win of the season.
"Innings 1 through 6, he was unbelievable," Chipper Jones said of Beachy's outing. "He was awesome. He had them on their heels all night. He was dotting everything. He’s a guy that’s going to be a top-of-the-rotation guy before it’s all said and done.”
Dan Uggla extended his hitting streak to 30 games with an infield single, a feat he has accomplished nine times during the streak.
As for the bullpen, Eric O'Flaherty wiggled out of a jam in the bottom of the eighth inning, and Jonny Venters and George Sherrill each pitched a perfect inning. Craig Kimbrel nailed down his 36th save of the season with a little help from a spectacular double play started by Alex Gonzalez.
The Braves will look to finish off a sweep of the Marlins as Tim Hudson (11-7, 3.22 ERA) will face Anibal Sanchez (6-5, 3.73 ERA) Wednesday night at 7:10 EDT.
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