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Atlanta Braves Shutout Florida Marlins, Maintain Wild Card Lead

September 20th, 2011 at 11:56 PM
By Cody Fields

The Atlanta Braves went into Tuesday in desperate need of a win to prevent the St. Louis Cardinals from creeping to 1.5 games away from the Wild Card lead. What they got was five shutout innings from rookie Randall Delgado to even the series with the Florida Marlins.

Delgado's five innings of work were enough to secure his first big league win. None of the five hits he allowed went for extra bases.

Delgado sat down the first five Marlins he faced, and the only real trouble he was in happened in the third inning when Florida accumulated two singles and a walk to load the bases with one out. Delgado then got Logan Morrison to line to Alex Gonzalez for an unassisted double play to end the threat.

Christhian Martinez and Anthony Varvaro then finished the game with two innings each. The Atlanta pitching staff retired the last 13 Florida batters they faced.

The Braves brought the lumber early to provide Delgado breathing room with a second inning rally started by a solo homer by Gonzalez. Jason Heyward followed with a double, which was followed two batters later by another double by Michael Bourn. After Bourn stole third for his 56th steal of the year, Martin Prado drove him in with his second of a slump busting three hits on the night.

Freddie Freeman would later hit his 20th homer in the sixth inning give the Braves a 4-0 lead and plenty of room for error.

The sour note of the night for Atlanta came in the sixth inning when Alex Gonzalez was forced to leave with a calf injury after running the bases. He is day to day.

The shutout was the Braves' 16th of the year and brought their September record to 8-12. The win also maintained the Braves' 2.5 game Wild Card lead over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Atlanta looks to keep things rolling with Derek Lowe (9-15, 4.94 ERA) opposite former Brave Javier Vazquez (11-11, 3.92 ERA) at 7:10 EDT Wednesday.

Tags: Alex Gonzalez, Anthony Varvaro, Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Christhian Martinez, Florida Marlins, Freddie Freeman, Martin Prado, MLB, Randall Delgado

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