Bats and Broomsticks

The Marlins second sweep of the season puts them on the cusp of franchise history

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Who knew news of a new stadium would have this kind of an impact.

The Marlins punished the Atlanta Braves on Thursday 6-2, improving to a league best 8-1 and putting the young fish in uncharted waters.

First, the Marlins swept a three-game series from the Braves in Atlanta for the first time in team history.

But more importantly, the Marlins are one win away from breaking the franchise's best start. The 1997 team also started 8-1 on its way to the World Series title.

"Nobody in here is surprised," said Cody Ross, Thursday’s hero with a three-run bomb to start the scoring. "We feel like we're a good team. There are a lot of skeptics who say it's early. We have to have confidence and never let down."

They never let up, either.
 
The Marlins outscored the Braves 21-7 in the series. The Fightin’ Fish had never swept a series of more than two games in Atlanta, and the last time that happened was May 13-14, 1997.
 
Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said his club is winning with balance.
 
“We're playing well," Gonzalez said. "The bullpen is pitching well. We're getting good starting pitching and timely hitting."
 
Anibal Sanchez (1-0) gave up eight hits and two runs in six innings to give Kenshin Kawakami his first loss, despite walking three batters.
 
"I didn't have good command, but I got good defense," Sanchez said.
 
Kawakami (1-1) allowed five hits and five runs, four earned, in six innings.
 
Braves manager Bobby Cox said Kawakami was "as good as he could possibly be" but made two mistakes -- the pitch too far over the plate that Ross hit for a home run and a hanging splitter that Jeremy Hermida hit for a run-scoring triple in the sixth.
 
Another mistake also hurt Kawakami.
 
The Braves blew a chance at a double play when Kelly Johnson dropped a throw from shortstop Yunel Escobar at second base in the second inning for an error, leaving the Marlins with runners on first and second. Ross hit his three-run homer one out later.
Copyright AP - Associated Press
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