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(Saturday, May 31st)
Final Score: Atlanta 9, Miami 5
Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Gerald Laird went 2-for-4 and scored three runs as the Atlanta Braves took a 9-5 victory over the Miami Marlins in the second installment of a three-game series on Saturday.
Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman both drove in two runs as the Braves won their second straight to take a two-game lead over the Marlins in the NL East.
Ervin Santana (5-2) earned the win after allowing just three runs on seven hits with four strikeouts across six innings.
Craig Kimbrel got out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth to secure his 15th save of the season and tied John Smoltz for the franchise save record with 154.
"It is nice to say I am a part of something like that," Kimbrel said of the milestone. "I have had a lot of opportunities. I have played on good ball teams for three, four years."
Christian Yelich went 3-for-4 with two runs scored while Derek Dietrich and Casey McGehee both supplied two RBI for the Marlins. Starter Jacob Turner (1-3) lasted five innings, giving up five runs -- four earned -- on seven hits with four walks.
Atlanta opened the scoring in the third. Laird singled and Heyward walked before Freeman drove a two-out, two-run double to right and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria's throwing error on Justin Upton's single allowed Freeman to cross home for a 3-0 advantage.
Tommy La Stella and Laird both took one-out walks in the fourth and moved up a base on Santana's bunt. Heyward's single brought both runners in to make it 5-0.
"We're walking way too many guys and then you cap that off with the sloppy defense," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "We're going up against the best teams in baseball. For us to think we can compete with them we have to play better."
Yelich raced to third on a leadoff triple in the home half. Dietrich brought him home on a liner to left.
Miami tacked on two more in the sixth. Yelich beat out the throw to first and scored on Dietrich's triple to right-center field. McGehee's sacrifice fly brought in Dietrich to make it a 5-3 game.
Chris Johnson singled with two outs in the seventh and moved to third after first baseman Garrett Jones failed to catch reliever Arquimedes Caminero's pickoff attempt. Andrelton Simmons walked before La Stella's single into right scored Johnson.
The Marlins made it a one-run game in the eighth. McGehee smacked a double down the right-field line that brought in Giancarlo Stanton from first. After Jones walked, Marcell Ozuna plated McGehee with a single up the middle. Shae Simmons, making his major league debut, entered the game and struck out Jarrod Saltalamacchia to limit the damage.
Freeman drove in Laird from second with a double to right and Hechavarria's second throwing error of the game allowed Freeman to score on Upton's base hit in the ninth.
After an intentional walk to Heyward, A.J. Ramos ushered in another run with a walk to B.J. Upton, giving the Braves a 9-5 cushion.
La Stella's fourth-inning RBI was the first of his career ... Freeman broke an 0-for-29 season hitting slump against the Marlins with his third-inning RBI double ... Heyward extended his hitting streak to 12 games.
05/31 22:45:51 ET