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Braves Survive Marlins Scare

The smile that had been missing for about a month was back on the face of Bret Boone again.

Boone, who homered and scored three runs, singled with one out in the ninth inning and scored the winning run on a bases-loaded single by Gerald Williams on Monday night that gave the Braves a 6-5 win over the Florida Marlins.

"I just wanted to get on base in that situation," said Boone, who had a horrible June, hitting just .178 (18-for-101) and watched his average fall below .250. "I feel good after going through a tough stretch."

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  • Boone, who also had a pair of home runs Sunday against the New York Mets, went 3-for-5 Monday to raise his average to .258.

    He homered in the seventh to give the Braves a 5-4 lead and then singled in the ninth off Antonio Alfonseca (4-5). After a wild pitch, Alfonseca walked Chipper Jones intentionally, then loaded the bases by walking Brian Jordan on four pitches.

    Williams, who entered the game in the previous inning as a pinch hitter, then lined a ball down the left-field line that went off the glove of a diving Bruce Aven. It was the Braves 14th win in their last at-bat.

    "I saw it was fair and I took off running," Aven said. "It wasn't like it was to the warning track and I had no chance to throw him out (Boone) at home."

    Williams was just trying to make contact and get the ball in the air.

    "I was just looking for something to drive to the outfield and stay out of the double play," Williams said.

    The Marlins tied it at 5 in the top of the ninth when reliever John Rocker walked Aven with the bases loaded.

    Rocker, who hadn't given up a run at home in 20 previous games covering 18 2-3 innings, gave up a one-out single to Mike Redmond and a two-out single to Luis Castillo before walking Dave Berg to fill the bases. Rocker then walked Aven on a 3-2 pitch.

    Kevin McGlinchy (5-3) retired Kevin Millar on a fly to left to end the threat and gain the victory.

    The Marlins, who are 21 1/2 games behind Atlanta in the NL East, tied the game at 4 in the sixth when Preson Wilson scored on a wild pitch by Atlanta starter Odalis Perez.

    Lowell hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning after Aven knocked in Florida's other run in the fourth with an RBI double.

    Perez, who hasn't won since May 23, gave up four runs on five hits and five walks in 5 2-3 innings.

    The Braves scored three runs in the second off Dennis Springer on an RBI double by Andrew Jones, a run-scoring single by Randall Simon and a sacrifice fly by Ozzie Guillen. Jones went 3-for-4.

    Atlanta's fourth run came in the fifth on an RBI single by Brian Jordan.

    Springer allowed four runs, seven hits and three walks in six innings.


  • The Braves have won seven of their last 10.
  • Atlanta catcher Javy Lopez, eligible to come off the 15-day DL on Tuesday after spraining his right knee, won't be activated. Lopez took batting practice for the first time since the injury, but is wearing a cumbersome brace on the knee and can't catch.
  • Perez is 0-3 with a 7.27 ERA in his last five starts.
  • Marlins rookie SS Alex Gonzalez returned home to Venezuela where his son, Alexander Jr., was born on June 30. He will rejoin the club Wednesday.
  • Wilson's 16 home runs are one shy of the Marlins rookie record of 17 set by Derrek Lee last season.
  • Since his recall from Triple-A Calgary on May 21, Millar has 30 RBIs in his 31 starts.

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