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Braves edge past Marlins in 2-1 win
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Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Julio Teheran throws in the first inning of Monday's season opener in Miami. - photo by Associated Press

    MIAMI — Even before Dee Gordon went face down leaving the batter's box, the Miami Marlins looked like a flop in their season opener against the Atlanta Braves.
    The sellout crowd's mood soured in the second inning when the game was halted for 16 minutes because of rain — a first at 3-year-old Marlins Park, which has a retractable roof. The resulting wet track subsequently cost the Marlins at least twice on the bases, and they lost to Atlanta 2-1.
    Marlins president David Samson took the blame for leaving the roof open too long, saying the rain was unexpected.
    "This will be my last game with the Marlins," Samson said jokingly. "I've enjoyed my 14 seasons here."
    Two Atlanta relievers combined to escape a bases-loaded, none-out jam in the seventh, and new closer Jason Grilli pitched a perfect ninth for the rebuilding Braves. They traded All-Star closer Craig Kimbel in their latest deal to San Diego on Sunday.
    The Marlins have hopes of ending an 11-year playoff drought following an uncharacteristic offseason spending spree, but little went right for the home team. The rain delay was an unwelcome public relations setback for unpopular owner Jeffrey Loria, whose franchise has struggled to win the favor of fans.
    They booed when play was halted while the roof closed, and the rain had a lingering effect. With Miami trailing 2-1, speedy newcomer Gordon appeared to have a chance at a bunt single in the eighth inning, but he stumbled leaving the batter's box, tumbled and became an easy out.
    Manager Mike Redmond blamed the damp dirt.
    "When you close that roof down, it doesn't dry," he said. "I'm sure that had a lot to do with it."
    Gordon, who led the majors in steals last year, was also thrown out trying to swipe second in the third inning.
    "Wet track," Gordon said. "Didn't slide as well as I could have. It didn't work out."
    Braves newcomer Nick Markakis drove in both of their runs. Julio Teheran (1-0) allowed eight hits but only one run in six-plus innings.
    The Marlins' Henderson Alvarez (0-1) gave up two runs in seven innings and scored their only run.
    Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton went 1 for 4 and made a baserunning mistake in the fourth, when he was thrown out trying to go from first to third on a two-out single.
    "It's just one game," Stanton said, "but when you lose games mentally rather than by a play it's different, and that's how we lost today for sure."
    The game was Stanton's first since his beaning Sept. 11 — and since he signed a record $325 million, 13-year contract.
    Trailing 2-1, the Marlins bunched three consecutive singles to load the bases starting the seventh. But Luis Avilan retired Jarrod Saltalamacchia on a 5-2-3 double play, and Jim Johnson got Adeiny Hechavarria to foul out.
    "That seventh inning was unbelievable, to get out of that," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.