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Marlins sweep Braves with 6-2 victory

ATLANTA - Cody Ross hit a three-run homer to snap out of an early slump, and the Florida Marlins finished off their first three-game sweep in Atlanta with a 6-2 victory over the Braves on Thursday.

Ross finished with three hits and four RBIs after beginning the day with a .115 average, helping Florida (8-1) get off to its best start since opening the 1997 season with eight wins in the first nine games.

The Marlins outscored the Braves 21-7 in the series. Florida had never swept a series of more than two games in Atlanta, and the last time that happened was May 13-14, 1997.

Anibal Sanchez (1-0) gave up eight hits and two runs in six innings to give Kenshin Kawakami (1-1) his first loss. Kawakami allowed five hits and five runs, four earned, in six innings.

The Braves were without two of their top hitters. Chipper Jones, normally the No. 3 hitter, missed his second straight game with a bruised left thumb and cleanup hitter Brian McCann was given his first break from the starting lineup this season. He reached on a fielder's choice as a pinch-hitter in the ninth.

Braves shortstop Yunel Escobar left the game after five innings with a strained abdominal muscle. He was listed as day to day.

Ross hit a fastball from Kawakami about 20 rows deep into the left-field seats in the second inning to drive in Jorge Cantu and Dan Uggla for a 3-0 lead. The deep shot ended Florida's four-game streak without a homer.

The Braves scored one run off Sanchez in the third. Garret Anderson, filling in for McCann as the cleanup hitter, hit his first of two doubles and scored on a single by Jeff Francoeur.

Anderson added his second double and again scored on a single by Francoeur in the fifth.

Uggla walked and scored on Jeremy Hermida's triple to center off Kawakami in the sixth, and Ross drove in Hermida with a sacrifice fly.

Pinch-hitter Ross Gload led off the ninth with a triple off Jorge Campillo, and Alfredo Amezaga drove in Gload with a single.