Smoltz Notches 10 Strikeouts, Braves Shut Out Marlins 8-0

Veteran ace racks up K total in only 5 innings of work
By Jamie Buss,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2008 9:55 PM CDT
Atlanta Braves Chipper Jones hits a double during his first at bat in baseball action in Miami tonight against the Florida Marlins. He hit two home runs and a double in his first three at bats.    (AP Photo/J. Pat Carter)
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(Newser) – With John Smoltz on the mound and Chipper Jones at the plate, their team looked like the Atlanta Braves of old. The Braves began Thursday night's game off to their worst start since 1990, but Smoltz and Jones provided a lift to help beat the Florida Marlins 8-0. Smoltz pitched five shutout innings and struck out 10, increasing his career total to 2,996.

Jones went 4-for-4 with two homers and three RBIs. There were other heroes: Atlanta hit five homers, including three in a row off Ricky Nolasco. Four relievers combined to pitch four hitless innings and complete a three-hitter with 16 strikeouts. Smoltz lowered his ERA to 0.56 and improved to 3-0 in three starts, while the rest of the Braves staff is 3-9.