Game Notes: Braves (8-7) vs. Marlins (11-4)

The Braves and Marlins kick off a three-game series for the second straight weekend. Last weekend in Atlanta, the Braves swept the Marlins. <BR> <BR> RHP <B>Russ Ortiz</B> (1-2, 4.50) vs. RHP <B>Josh Beckett</B> (1-1, 2.21)

GAME NOTES: All-time, the Braves lead the series 89-70, but Florida has the advantage at Pro Player Stadium, 37-40...Last season, the Marlins won the season series, 10-9...

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Braves lost the finale of the three-game series vs. the Reds, losing 5-3 in a rain-shortened five innings. Jaret Wright was roughed up, giving up 5 ER in 1.2 innings, his shortest start since 8/30/02 vs. Boston (0.2 IP)...The Braves added three runs in the 4th inning all with two outs on an Adam LaRoche double and a two-RBI Johnny Estrada double...Estrada also had the first successful caught stealing of an opposing baserunner when he gunned out D'Angelo Jimenez in the 1st inning breaking the team's 0-for-11 drought.

WELCOME TO TURNER FIELD, HOME OF THE FANS: This season's April attendance at Turner Field is the highest since 2000. Through nine games, the Braves are averaging 32,525 fans, up 32.4% from 2003 when the team averaged 24,133 after 16 April home dates.

FEAST OR FAMINE: The Braves offense has dictated this season, scoring just 16 runs in their seven losses (2.3) but 60 runs in their eight wins (7.5).

COOL IN THE CLUTCH: The Braves offense had 3 two-out runs yesterday and has 39 of their 76 total runs (51.3%) of the two-out variety.

SMOLTZ ALONE IN SECOND: John Smoltz notched his 113th career save Saturday night, moving him past Mark Wohlers (112) for second place on the club's all-time saves list...Gene Garber garnered 141 saves in his Braves career.

HITTING THE GROUND RUNNING: SS Rafael Furcal returned on Sunday after missing seven games with a strained lower back and showed his legs were in fine shape, stealing second and third in the 7th inning. Furcal came in to play SS and Jesse Garcia moved to 2B after Marcus Giles was ejected after the fifth inning...he added his third stolen base of the season on Tuesday and his fourth Wed. night.

THREES COMPANY: DewanyneWise's triple Wed. night was his third of the season, tying him for the NL lead...they are all the Braves ‘04 triples.

INJURY UPDATE: Chipper Jones left Sunday's game in the 6th inning with a strained right hamstring... he is expected to be out at least 5-7 days, but could play in about a week...he will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis...he has missed three games so far...Armando Almanza fell to 0-3 in his rehab stint with the Greenville Braves after allowing 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB in 0.2 IPWed. vs. his rehab option was transferred from Greenville to Richmond, where he will report today.

KEEP THOSE BAGS PACKED: Tonight's game is the fourth game of the Braves longest trip of the season - 12 games and 13 days - to Cincinnati, Florida, San Francisco and Colorado...there are two open dates sandwiched around the two-week trip, giving the Braves just three home games from April 12 to May 3.

AND THE LIST CONTINUES: Ozzie Smith is slated to join the Braves' TBS Friday Night Xtra telecast as a guest analyst this tonight...TBS' Major League Baseball coverage on Friday nights features a newly enhanced presentation...the network will air 17 Friday night games uniquely branded as Braves TBS Baseball Friday Night Xtra...TBS's regular two-man booth rotation will feature former major league greats...former Chicago Cubs great Ryne Sandberg appeared on April 9 and former Orioles great Cal Ripken was on last Friday night.

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