MIAMI (AP) - The Florida Marlins' slump cost their batting coach his job Wednesday.
The firing of John Mallee was announced after the Marlins' losing streak reached seven games with a 3-2 defeat against Atlanta in 10 innings.
Mallee will be replaced by Eduardo Perez, son of Hall of Famer Tony Perez.
``I don't want to put it all on John, and I don't want to put it all on Eduardo,' president for baseball operations Larry Beinfest said. ``We just need to find a way to score some runs.'
Perez, a former major leaguer who had been working in the Indians organization, will join the team Thursday. Left fielder Logan Morrison said Mallee was being made a scapegoat.
``I don't think it's right. I don't think it's just,' Morrison said. ``He had us prepared. It's not his fault we're not scoring runs. We let him down, and it's disappointing.'
Beinfest said the decision to fire Mallee was made before the game. Nothing that happened subsequently changed his mind.
The Marlins went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position. They're 8 for 54 (.148) in those situations during the first six games of their dismal homestand.
The losing streak is Florida's longest since April 2009. Six of the seven defeats have been by a single run.
``Every game we've been one hit away from winning,' manager Edwin Rodriguez said. ``What is missing is the execution from the players. They didn't go to the field and execute. It got to the point that maybe listening to a different voice or other approaches will make it happen.'
Said Beinfest: ``We need to stop this. We need to win some games.'
Derek Lowe held the Marlins hitless until Greg Dobbs singled with one out in the seventh. Eric O'Flaherty relieved Lowe with two outs and the bases loaded, and Mike Stanton struck out to end the inning.
The Marlins still trailed 2-0 in the ninth and had been shut out for 24 1-3 consecutive innings when they tied the game one with two outs. Stanton hit a two-run single on a 1-2 pitch from Braves closer Craig Kimbrel (2-2).
Stanton continued to second on an errant throw by right fielder Joe Mather, but Ozzie Martinez struck out to send the game into extra innings.
Chipper Jones walked with one out in the 10th against Mike Dunn (4-4), then took second on a single by Brian McCann. Freddie Freeman, who had been 0 for 7 in the series, followed with an RBI single up the middle.
The Marlins had two on with one out in the bottom of the 10th, but George Sherrill struck out Greg Dobbs, and Scott Linebrink earned his first save since July 3, 2009, striking out Gaby Sanchez on a 2-2 pitch.
Sanchez took strike three looking, and threw his bat in anger over the call. A TV replay showed the breaking ball appeared outside.
``I saw it,' Sanchez said. ``They don't have the option of going back and seeing it. He called it a strike. There's nothing you can do.'
Jordan Schafer had two hits and scored twice for Atlanta off Ricky Nolasco, who allowed two runs in 7 1-3 innings.
Kimbrel struck out the first two batters in the ninth, but Morrison walked and took third on a double by John Buck - only the Marlins' third hit. Stanton followed with his hit, the Marlins' first in 12 at_bats with runners in scoring position in the series.
Notes: Braves LF Martin Prado was held out of the starting lineup. He bruised his left knee when hit by a throw stealing second base Tuesday. Gonzalez said he might miss only one start. ... Marlins SS Hanley Ramirez (strained back) hit in the batting cage and played catch. He may begin a rehabilitation assignment Friday. ... Florida CF Chris Coghlan made a leaping catch to rob Alex Gonzalez of an extra-base hit in the first inning.
The Associated Press News Service
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