MIAMI — The sliding Atlanta Braves stumbled again Monday night, losing 6-5 to the Florida Marlins on Omar Infante's game-ending two-run homer.
Atlanta now has dropped three of four, and its NL wild-card lead is down to 2½ games over surging St. Louis, which beat Roy Halladay and the Phillies 4-3 in Philadelphia. The Braves have eight games remaining, the Cardinals nine.
Rookie closer Craig Kimbrel came in to preserve Atlanta's 5-4 lead and retired the first two batters he faced in the ninth. But Emilio Bonifacio then hit a chopper to third baseman Chipper Jones, who could not field the infield hit.
Infante then drove a 1-0 pitch to deep left for his first game-ending homer. Infante's sixth homer of the season came against his former team and handed Kimbrel (4-3) his seventh blown save opportunity in 52 chances.
Dan Uggla and Jason Heyward homered for Atlanta, which scored four runs in the seventh to take the lead. Second baseman Infante had a costly error in the inning, which allowed the Braves to score the tiebreaking run.
Mike Stanton homered twice for the Marlins, and Logan Morrison added a two-run shot. Clay Hensley (6-6) pitched two scoreless innings to get the win.
Braves starter Mike Minor allowed four runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings. He struck out six and walked two.
Stanton hit a solo shot into the upper deck in left in the first inning, then belted another solo shot in the third for his 34th of the season, tying Miguel Cabrera for second place on the Marlins' single-season list.
The 21-year-old Stanton has two multihomer games this season and four in his career.
Ricky Nolasco retired the first 12 batters he faced before Uggla singled leading off the fifth. He allowed five runs, four earned, and five hits in 6 2-3 innings.
: Gary Sheffield hit 42 home runs for the Marlins in 1996. ... Braves SS Alex Gonzalez is hitting .444 (12 of 27) in his last seven games. ... Marlins RHP Josh Johnson (shoulder) threw a 50-pitch bullpen session. He will be facing batters on Sept. 22 and 27 in Jupiter before shutting it down. Johnson is looking to start opening day next season when the Marlins open their new 37,000-seat stadium. ... Marlins RHP Alex Sanabia will start Saturday at Milwaukee in place of LHP Brad Hand, who will be relegated to the bullpen the rest of the season. ... The Braves will send RHP Randall Delgado to the mound Tuesday. He allowed one run in five innings in his last start on Sept. 14, also against the Marlins. Florida will counter with RHP Anibal Sanchez, who is 4-9 with a 5.09 ERA in his career against the Braves.