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MIAMI (AP) — Dan Uggla hit a three-run home run in the first inning, Martin Prado tied a career best with four hits and the Atlanta Braves beat the Miami Marlins 7-5 on Monday night.
Tim Hudson (15-6) allowed a season-high 10 hits in five innings, still beating the Marlins for the fifth straight time. Atlanta — which swept a three-game series from Washington over the weekend — moved within five games of the idle Nationals in the NL East.
Gorkys Hernandez had his first three-hit game for Miami, the rookie’s average going from .157 to .178. Bryan Petersen and Hernandez hit consecutive triples in a four-run fourth inning for Miami.
Miami was without right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, out because of muscle soreness in his rib cage. Chipper Jones got the night off for Atlanta and Prado went 4 for 4 playing third base in his place, including an RBI single in the eighth.
Craig Kimbrel gave up a one-out single to Miami’s Jose Reyes in the ninth, but escaped for his 37th save in 40 chances.
The Braves wasted little time against Marlins starter Wade LeBlanc (2-5), getting four hits and four runs in the first. Prado’s RBI single opened the scoring, and Uggla followed that with his 19th homer of the season — his third of the year against the Marlins, his former club.
Uggla hurt the Marlins with his glove as well, sprawling to snare a ground ball that Petersen hit into the hole between first and second with two Marlins on in the eighth, then scrambling to make the throw to first just in time and end the inning.
For a while, it didn’t seem as if such defensive heroics would necessary. Jeff Baker and Hudson had RBI singles for Atlanta in the fourth, pushing the lead to 6-0.
The Braves came into the night 50-0 when scoring at least six runs.
The Marlins, apparently, weren’t deterred.
And for a welcome change — at least from the Miami perspective — some home-field advantage helped the Marlins get back into the game.
A night after John Buck flied out to the deepest part of cavernous Marlins Park for the final out of Miami’s 5-4, 11-inning loss to Cincinnati — it prompted plenty of discussion in the team’s clubhouse Monday about whether the fences are too far from home plate — the huge outfield gaps played a big role in Miami rallying.
The pair of triples got Miami right back into things. Petersen’s came first, bringing home Donovan Solano and Rob Brantly, and the next by Hernandez allowed Petersen to jog home and cap a four-run outburst that cut Atlanta’s lead to 6-4.
Miami got within 6-5 in the seventh, Carlos Lee’s single bringing home Reyes, who hit a one-out double.
(© 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)