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Streaking Marlins catch Braves

©Associated Press

© St. Petersburg Times,
published June 20, 2001

ATLANTA -- Cliff Floyd hit a grand slam and Kevin Millar had three RBI as the Florida Marlins beat the Braves 12-2 Tuesday night for their season-high fifth straight victory.

Florida, winning for the 10th time in 13 games, moved into a second-place tie with Atlanta in the East, 31/2 games behind first-place Philadelphia.

The Braves, after going 18-7 from May 15-June 12, have lost five of six.

Chuck Smith won his first start since May 22, when he beat the Braves 3-2 in Miami. The right-hander, who gave up a sacrifice fly to Javy Lopez in the second and a run-scoring single to Quilvio Veras in the seventh, improved to 3-0 in three starts against Atlanta.

Smith had gone 0-2 with a 7.41 ERA in his three previous starts.

Floyd led off the third with a double to increase his career-high hitting streak to 13 games. Floyd's sixth-inning grand slam, the second of his career, came off rookie Joe Nelson to make it 11-1.

Floyd has 19 homers, three shy of his career high in 1998 and 2000. Since last year's All-Star break, Floyd is hitting .344 with 25 homers and 90 RBI.

The Marlins, who had 16 hits, took a 3-0 lead in the first when Mike Lowell and Derrek Lee had run-scoring singles and Millar a sacrifice fly off Braves starter Jason Marquis.

Millar added a two-run homer in the third for a 5-1 lead, and Alex Gonzalez homered in the fourth.

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