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Braves' Lowe struggles in loss to Marlins

KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Derek Lowe plans on being ready to start on opening day. The rest is up to Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox.

Lowe worked five innings in Atlanta's 8-6 loss to the Florida Marlins on Friday. The right-hander allowed four runs and seven hits, struck out two and walked none.

Lowe said he felt good about the outing and smiled when asked about the opening-day assignment.

'It wasn't the greatest of games,' Lowe said. 'I am just trying to figure out what I am doing. There will be days like today. It's just a matter of being ready for opening day.'

Lowe didn't have to face All-Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who was scratched with tightness in his throwing shoulder.

'He's OK,' Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. 'We are erring on the side of caution. It's not a problem.'

Lowe joined the Braves in the offseason, signing a $60 million, four-year deal after going 14-11 with a 3.24 ERA for the Los Angeles Dodgers last season. He likely will be the top starter in Atlanta's restructured rotation, joined by fellow newcomers Javier Vazquez and Kenshin Kawakami.

Cox wasn't ready Friday to announce a starter for Atlanta's April 5 opener at Philadelphia but praised what Lowe has done this spring.

'I think he and the team are just ready to get started,' Cox said. 'There's no opening-day starter yet. I should have some news by next Wednesday.'

Atlanta's Tom Glavine is scheduled to make his spring debut today against the New York Mets. Glavine is working his way back from elbow and shoulder surgery that sidelined him for much of 2008.

Cox said he didn't know if Glavine would go two or three innings but that the left-hander was in excellent shape and ready for opening day.

The Marlins scored two runs in the 10th inning off Emiliano Fruto to get the win. John Raynor had a sacrifice fly and Brett Carroll singled in a run.

Andrew Miller allowed two runs and six hits in five innings for Florida. He struck out two and walked one.

David Ross and Jason Heyward homered for Atlanta.