MIAMI (AP) - The Florida Marlins typically play good baseball against the Atlanta Braves in South Florida.
But right now, that isn't the case - against anybody.
Jair Jurrjens threw seven solid innings and drove in a run as Atlanta beat Florida 3-2 on Thursday night, sending the Marlins to their eighth straight loss. Seven of those losses have been by one run.
``One hit here or there and it's a whole different game each of the last seven games,' Marlins starter Chris Volstad said. ``It's not like we're out of it by any means.'
The skid is the Marlins' longest since they also dropped eight in a row Aug. 15-22, 2007.
``When you go back, it's one pitch, one play, it's one something during the game,' Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said. ``That clutch hit never shows. Then again, they're battling out there. The intensity is out there. We need to keep playing with that intensity until we get out of this.'
Volstad (2-6) had his no-hit bid ended in the sixth on Matt Young's leadoff single.
Young hit a 75-foot dribbler down the first-base line, and the ball traced the line as catcher John Buck raced toward it but let it run its course until it stopped in fair territory on the dirt. Volstad had retired 10 straight before Young's hit.
Young scored three batters later when Alex Gonzalez smacked a double off the left-field wall for a 1-0 lead.
Volstad unraveled in the seventh, when he allowed four hits, walked a batter, and threw a wild pitch resulting in a run. One of the hits was an RBI single by Jurrjens (8-2), which gave the Braves a 3-0 edge ending Volstad's outing.
Volstad allowed three runs and struck out seven in 6 2-3 innings.
``The last two games, I feel like I've been throwing well,' Volstad said. ``Attacking the zone. Feeling good. That's all I can concentrate on.'
It was the Braves' first three-game sweep at Sun Life Stadium since May 2-4, 1995.
``They always pitch really good against us and this is a tough lineup,' Jurrjens said. ``To come here and try to battle this heat is not easy. These guys play us like we are playing in the World Series. We have a small rivalry between us.'
Jurrjens, the league leader in ERA at 1.82, allowed two runs and six hits. He threw 61 of his 87 pitches for strikes and struck out two.
``J.J. was outstanding,' Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Jurrjens was in a groove until Mike Stanton hit a solo home run with two outs in the seventh cut the deficit to 3-1. Buck followed with a double and Emilio Bonifacio singled him home, but Jurrjens got out of the inning as Wes Helms flew out.
``I let my guard down a little bit,' Jurrjens said.
``He got the hamster back on the wheel and got Helms out,' Gonzalez said.
Eric O'Flaherty tossed a scoreless eighth and Jonny Venters pitched the ninth to earn his second save in three opportunities as Gonzalez gave closer Craig Kimbrel the night off after a 28-pitch appearance on Wednesday.
``I try not to make it any different,' Venters said, ``but there's definitely a little bit more excitement out there (in the ninth).'
Notes: Braves LF Martin Prado missed his second straight start after bruising his left knee when he was hit by a throw while stealing second base Tuesday. ... Marlins SS Hanley Ramirez (back) fielded groundballs before the game for the first time. He will begin his rehabilitation assignment on Friday with Single-A Jupiter.
The Associated Press News Service
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