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Hensley Fades Late As Marlins Fall To Braves, 5-0

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Clay Hensley #32 of the Florida Marlins pitches to the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on July 29, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Source: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Clay Hensley #32 of the Florida Marlins pitches to the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on July 29, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Source: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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ATLANTA (CBS4)- Clay Hensley achieved his goal of lasting longer than five innings. It just wasn’t good enough to beat Brandon Beachy on Friday night.

Hensley surrendered a tiebreaking three-run homer by Dan Uggla in the seventh inning and the Florida Marlins managed just three hits against Beachy and two relievers, losing 5-0 to the Atlanta Braves to end their five-game winning streak.

Hensley (1-3) gave up two hits in the first before retiring 16 straight. The streak ended when Martin Prado, who had three hits, led off the seventh with a single up the middle. Freeman followed with another single to center and Prado made it to third with a headfirst slide.

Uggla then connected on an 0-1 pitch, raising his right fist in the air as the ball cleared the wall in center.

“He dropped the barrel on it,” Hensley said. “It wasn’t really that bad of a pitch. He kind of went out there and got it. He’s a good hitter. We all saw that last year.

“He’s one of my best friends. We’ll have some words about that later.”

The Braves acquired Uggla from the Marlins in an offseason trade.

Hensley gave up three runs and five hits in seven innings. He lasted only five innings in each of his first two starts in his return from a right shoulder strain.

“I felt pretty good,” Hensley said. “One of the goals going into this start was to limit the walks if not have any. I wanted to concentrate on strikes and give myself a chance to go deep in the game.

“So I’m happy about that. I’m happy I went out there and got ahead of guys and I didn’t walk anybody tonight.”

Emilio Bonifacio’s 26-game hitting streak, the second-longest in Marlins history, came to an end. After two strikeouts, Bonifacio was thrown out trying to bunt his way on base, then grounded out to third in the eighth.

Marlins manager Jack McKeon said he thought Bonifacio was thinking about the streak early in the game.

“I talked to him. I said `Hey, start a new streak,”‘ McKeon said. “He went up there trying to get that hit that first time. Hey, stay with your game. … The first time I really felt that he really thought about it.”

Uggla extended his hitting streak to 20 games and leads Atlanta with 19 homers. He entered July with a .176 batting average but is up to .206 after going 1 for 4 against Florida.

“It really felt good,” Uggla said. “I tried not to put too much on it other than it put us ahead and put us in position to win.”

Beachy (4-2) yielded two hits, walked three and struck out six in 7 1-3 innings. He pitched into the eighth for the first time in his career.

“Outstanding performance,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “He went up and down the strike zone, down and in.

“He was dominant today.”

Eric O’Flaherty recorded the final two outs in the eighth and Scott Linebrink pitched around Gaby Sanchez’s one-out double in the ninth, striking out Logan Morrison to end the game.

Jose Constanza, recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett before the game, had a run-scoring single off Marlins left-hander Mike Dunn in the eighth for his first hit in the major leagues. Constanza scored from third on Freddie Freeman’s fly ball to left.

Constanza replaced Nate McLouth as the leadoff hitter and center fielder after the veteran was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a lower abdominal strain.

McLouth is the third Atlanta player to be placed on the disabled list this week. Catcher Brian McCann (strained left oblique) and outfielder Jordan Schafer (finger) were shelved on Wednesday.

Also, third baseman Chipper Jones missed his fourth straight start with a strained right quadriceps.

With two outs in the seventh, Constanza misjudged a fly ball hit by Mike Stanton, drifting back before reversing his direction and charging toward the infield too late to make the catch. Stanton made it to second for a double.

Beachy escaped when left fielder Eric Hinske made a leaping catch of Mike Cameron’s line drive two steps in front of the wall, ending the inning.

Sanchez returned for Florida after missing three starts with a tight left hamstring.

(© 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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