MLB: Atlanta loses ground
By George Henry
Associated PressATLANTA ó Jorge Cantu hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the seventh inning and the Florida Marlins damaged Atlanta’s playoff hopes, winning 5-4 Tuesday to snap the Braves’ seven-game winning streak.
Atlanta, which had won 15 of 17 overall, fell three games behind NL wild card-leading Colorado with five games left.
The Rockies beat Milwaukee 7-5 in 11 innings, and their win eliminated Florida from playoff contention.
Chris Coghlan had three hits and scored twice for the Marlins, who had lost three of four. Cameron Maybin’s two-run homer gave the Marlins a 4-1 lead in the fifth inning, but Atlanta’s Matt Diaz hit a tying three-run drive off Brian Sanches in the sixth.
“We’ll come tomorrow ready to play,” Diaz said. “Tonight we faced Josh Johnson. You get four runs, you say you’d take that. Especially with (Braves starter Tim Hudson) on the mound. He kept us in the game, but we weren’t able to capitalize a couple times.”
Florida went ahead for good in the seventh. Coghlan led off with a double and advanced on Maybin’s sacrifice. Hanley Ramirez was intentionally walked before Cantu’s hit off Kenshin Kawakami (7-12) gave the Marlins the lead.
The Braves put runners on first and third with two out in the seventh, but Renyel Pinto got Yunel Escobar to hit a harmless comebacker to end the inning.
Brendan Donnelly pitched a scoreless eighth, and Leo Nunez closed it out for his 25th save in 32 chances.
“We almost pulled it off,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “We had a couple chances.”