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The Diaz and Francoeur Show

Tim Hudson got into a lot of trouble Tuesday night in Atlanta, but he used the strikeout, 10 of them, to get himself out of jams and keep the score close enough for the Braves to mount a comeback. The entire Braves team seems on a mission this home stand; that mission, to reach .500, and they pulled within one game of it after Tuesday's 11-inning win.

The Marlins once again held a lead after the fifth inning, but the Braves chipped away in the bottom of the inning on the first homerun of the year from Matt Diaz. Dontrelle Willis was cruising most of the night, getting Braves batters to ground into a frustrating four double plays. He continued to pitch into the ninth inning with a one-run lead until Jeff Francoeur came to the plate with one out. Frenchy sent a D-Train fastball to just about dead center field, a foot and a half over the leaping glove of Reggie Abercromie, for a game tying homerun.

Once again the Atlanta bullpen was spectacular, and kept the Marlins scoreless for four innings until the eleventh, when a Macay McBride walk came around to score. But that simply set the stage for another amazing comeback by the Braves.

A slumping Chipper Jones lead of the bottom of the eleventh with a walk, and then Andruw Jones split the outfielders with a double that rolled to the left-center field wall scoring Chipper to once again tie the game. Francoeur advanced Andruw to third on a groundout, and the Marlins decided to intentionally walk Adam LaRoche to set up a double play possibility. But Matt Diaz would have none of it, as he laced a game-winning single to center field scoring Andruw.

It was another come from behind win for the Braves on a night when the D-Train had them mostly contained. My voice paid the price for the excitement of this pitchers duel. I also found the right usher to bribe so I can sit in the lower deck on nights that it's not that crowded. A couple of bucks can get you some great seats.

The Braves will turn to John Smoltz on Wednesday, as he faces Ricky Nolasco, who is being pushed from the bullpen to the rotation to replace the injured Sergio Mitre. Nolasco held the Braves hitless in two innings of relief last Wednesday in Florida. Hopefully we can take advantage of him this time around.

Florida 3, Atlanta 4 in 11 innings at Turner Field
Florida Record: (11-26)
Atlanta Record: (19-20)

Winning pitcher - Macay McBride (1-0)
Losing pitcher - Joe Borowski (0-1)

VOTE VOTE VOTE for the Braves' All-Stars: Brian McCann, C; Edgar Renteria, SS; and Andruw Jones, OF.

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