Francisco homers as Braves beat Marlins 7-1
MIAMI (AP) Juan Francisco homered and drove in three runs, helping the Atlanta Braves beat Miami 7-1 Wednesday after the downsizing Marlins jettisoned yet another star player by trading Hanley Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Ricky Nolasco (8-9) gave up six runs and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings, dropping to 0-2 with a 9.64 ERA against the Braves this season.
A Marlins Park-record crowd of 36,711 watched the home team steal seven bases, the most in the major leagues this season and the high for the team since 2002. Jose Reyes and Donovan Solano each had two stolen bases as the Marlins were caught just once.
Miami, which has traded Anibal Sanchez and Ramirez this week, appears to be embarking on its third fire sale of stars, following sellouts in 1997 and 2003. The Marlins were 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position.
Justin Ruggiano's second double of the game gave Miami a 1-0 lead in the third.
Freddie Freeman hit a tying single in the fourth and Francisco followed with a drive into the right-field upper deck estimated at 435 feet.
Bourn's two-run homer made it 5-1 in the fifth, and Francisco's RBI single chased Nolasco.
Heyward hit his 15th homer of the year, an eighth-inning drive off Wade LeBlanc.
NOTES: A crowd of 36,601 witnessed the first game at Marlins Park on April 4 against St. Louis. ... Miami batters tied their season high with 14 strikeouts, including four by Brett Hayes. ... Francisco came into the game hitting .222 (4 for 18) in July. ... RHP Nathan Eovaldi (1-6, 4.15 ERA), acquired from Dodgers, will start Saturday against San Diego as LeBlanc remains in the bullpen. ... Both teams are off on Thursday with Braves RHP Ben Sheets (2-0, 0.00 ERA) pitching the series opener Friday against Philadelphia. Marlins RHP Carlos Zambrano (5-8, 4.42 ERA) will face Padres RHP Kip Wells (1-3, 4.00 ERA).
Updated July 25, 2012