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Thursday February 11th, 2016 10:07AM

Braves bust four-game skid in 5-2 win over Miami

By The Associated Press
MIAMI -- Evan Gattis drove in two runs to highlight Atlanta's highest-scoring inning in more than a month, and the Braves snapped a four-game slide by beating the Miami Marlins 5-2 on Monday night.

Justin Upton, Freddie Freeman and Gattis all doubled to lead off what became a five-run fourth, Atlanta's biggest inning since a five-run fifth against Philadelphia on Aug. 2. Kris Medlen (13-12) was the beneficiary that night against the Phillies and again on Monday, getting the win after allowing six hits and two runs in 6 1-3 innings.

Atlanta (86-57) passed idle Boston (87-58) for baseball's best record.

Chris Coghlan tied a career high with four hits for Miami, which lost for the 24th time in its last 34 games. Ed Lucas added a two-run double in the seventh for the Marlins.

Marlins starter Henderson Alvarez (3-4) gave up no hits in the first three innings, before Atlanta got to him in the fourth. Upton got it started with a double to right, Freeman followed with one to left, Gattis drove both home with another two-base hit, and the Braves were rolling. Chris Johnson and Elliot Johnson both had run-scoring singles, and Chris Johnson later scored on a wild pitch for a 5-0 lead.

That was enough for Medlen and three relievers, with Craig Kimbrel working the ninth to get his 45th save in 48 tries for the NL East leaders. Atlanta has not lost more than four straight at any point this season.

The Braves had some good news pregame, with manager Fredi Gonzalez announcing that slugger Jason Heyward - out since last month with a broken jaw - had some of what he called "the hardware" that was surgically inserted to assist with the healing process removed.

"He can eat," Gonzalez said.

The Marlins, meanwhile, remained on pace for a 100-loss season, and played without right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (ankle) for a second straight game. Stanton worked out pregame Monday and the Marlins are hopeful he could return to the lineup as early as Tuesday, though will let him make the decision on when to get back on the field.

"Guys want to finish strong," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "They want to take advantage of every at-bat that they can and every opportunity they get to play. This time is so important for guys. I think you learn the most about your ballclub in the last three weeks of the season because guys have a lot to play for. They're playing for next year. They're trying to finish off good years, maybe finish up a not-so-good year."

NOTES: Miami sends RHP Tom Koehler (3-9, 4.70) to the mound Tuesday against Atlanta RHP Julio Teheran (11-7, 3.01). ... The Braves recalled C Christian Bethancourt from Double-A Mississippi before the game. "We think the world of him," Gonzalez said. ... Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez, who will start Wednesday before getting shut down for the season, hit a ball off the center field statue in batting practice. Since June 1, Fernandez is 9-3 with a 1.51 ERA. ... Coghlan had Miami's first three hits. ... Marlins C Jeff Mathis left after five innings with a bruised right thumb, and is day to day.
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