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Slumping Marlins fall to Braves in extras

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ATLANTA (AP) - Justin Ruggiano said every mistake seems to become more difficult to overcome as the Marlins' latest losing streak grows.

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Miami blew an early two-run lead and fell to the Atlanta Braves 5-4 on Saturday night as B.J. Upton had four hits, including the game-winning single in the 11th inning off Ryan Webb.

The Marlins, in last place in the NL East, have lost six straight. The Braves have won six straight.

``That's what happens when you go on a bad little roll like we're on right now, I guess,'' Ruggiano said. ``Mistakes tend to cost you.

``We've just got to turn the page. We need to come back tomorrow and act as if we've been winning. We've just got to get over this little funk we're in right now.''

Ruggiano hit a two-run homer in the first and Giancarlo Stanton also homered for Miami.

Manager Mike Redmond said the Marlins' four runs were a positive step. Miami had scored fewer than four runs in each of its past nine games.

``For us, four runs is like 25 runs for some teams,'' Redmond said.

Upton, who entered the game hitting only .186, had a two-run homer and three singles after striking out in his first two at_bats. The homer was his first since June 15.

``I've been working hard all year and I'm finally starting to see some consistent results,'' Upton said. ``I've just got to keep playing and keep working hard and stick to what I'm doing.''

With one out in the 11th, Chris Johnson singled up the middle for his fourth hit. Johnson moved to second on Brian McCann's groundout before being replaced by pinch-runner Paul Janish.

With two outs, Webb (1-5) walked Dan Uggla, bringing Upton to the plate.

Redmond said Uggla and Upton, each hitting below .200, have been the hitters to target in Atlanta's lineup. Uggla had two walks and was hit by a pitch.

``Out of that whole lineup, you get down to those guys, you've got to make those guys beat you and tonight they did,'' Redmond said.

Luis Ayala (1-1) pitched a scoreless 11th.

Stanton's homer in the fourth gave Miami a 3-1 lead.

Jacob Turner, who tied a Marlins record with three errors, couldn't hold the lead. Turner walked McCann to open the sixth before giving up Upton's tying homer to center field.

Ruggiano led off the seventh with a single and scored on Logan Morrison's single. The Braves pulled even at 4-4 in the bottom of the seventh when Johnson hit a two-out double off Mike Dunn and scored on McCann's single. Johnson finished with four hits.

Turner's first error came in the first inning when he couldn't handle Morrison's throw to first base, allowing Jordan Schafer to reach. Schafer stole second, moved to third on Elliot Johnson's sacrifice and scored on Freddie Freeman's line drive to left field.

Turner had two errors on one play in the fifth. With Mike Minor on first base following a single, Turner mishandled Schafer's bunt for an error and threw wild to first, allowing Minor to advance to third.

The Braves loaded the bases on Turner's intentional walk to Freeman, but Chris Johnson's popup to Ed Lucas at second base ended the inning.

Miami players had drawn 38 walks in the past 11 games, but none of those 38 base runners scored. That streak of futility ended in the first inning when Stanton walked with two outs and scored on Ruggiano's homer into the right-field seats.

Elliot Johnson, making only his second start of the season in left field, sprinted toward center field before making a diving catch of Placido Polanco's sinking liner in the fourth. Johnson charged to make another diving catch of Donovan Solano's liner to open the 10th.

Turner gave up three runs, two earned, and four hits in 5 2-3 innings.

Minor allowed four runs and five hits and one walk in seven innings.

NOTES: Gary Sheffield is the only other Marlins player to have three errors in a game - on Sept. 30, 1993, while playing third base against Montreal. ... Redmond said the team will hold firm to a 170-innings limit for RHP Jose Fernandez, who is at 158 2-3 innings. Fernandez may have only two more starts before he is shut down. The Marlins pushed back Fernandez's next start from Wednesday at the Cubs to Friday at home against the Nationals. ... RHP Nathan Eovaldi will start for Miami in Sunday's final game of the series against Braves LHP Alex Wood.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
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