ATLANTA -- After squandering a seven-run lead, the Braves still found a way to frustrate the Marlins. Nick Markakis homered in the second and added the go-ahead RBI double in the sixth inning that lifted Atlanta to a 12-7 victory on Monday at Turner Field.The Marlins were mounting what would
ATLANTA -- After squandering a seven-run lead, the Braves still found a way to frustrate the Marlins. Nick Markakis homered in the second and added the go-ahead RBI double in the sixth inning that lifted Atlanta to a 12-7 victory on Monday at Turner Field.
The Marlins were mounting what would have been their biggest comeback win of the season, pulling even in the sixth on Giancarlo Stanton's pinch-hit sacrifice fly. But Atlanta regained the lead in the bottom half on Markakis' two-out double off Brian Ellington and tacked on four more runs through the eighth.
"When you get out to a 7-0 lead, you don't really think they're going to come back," Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman said after going 3-for-4 on his 27th birthday. "They came back and came back fast. The bullpen after Folty went down really stepped up big for us. We were able to score some runs off some pretty tough pitchers."
Tyler Flowers drove in a game-high four RBIs as the Braves improved to 9-4 in the season series and delivered another blow to Miami's shrinking postseason chances. The Marlins had a chance to gain ground on the Cardinals and Mets in the National League Wild Card race but instead fell to 71-73 and remained five games back on a night they could have gotten back to .500.
"It felt kind of like those NBA games when you get down by 20, 25, and then they catch up and you're out of gas," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "I'm not quite sure that's what happened, but we weren't quite able to stop them. You're only going to be able to come back so many times."
Marlins starter Andrew Cashner has been dealing with blister-related issues for weeks, and several times he was checking the finger between pitches, but Cashner said it was a non-issue. It was the Braves that repeatedly applied the pressure, tagging the right-hander for seven runs on six hits in two-plus innings. Since being acquired from the Padres in late July, Cashner's ERA with Miami is 6.13, with 27 earned runs in 39 2/3 innings.
"I definitely have got to be a lot better," Cashner said. "I didn't really locate at all tonight. We're still in the hunt. I've got to definitely pitch better. Tonight was probably my worst outing of the season. It was a nice job by the offense to pick us up, get us back in the game. Just couldn't find a way."
Ender Inciarte tripled to open the first and scored. In Atlanta's five-run third, Inciarte doubled to lead off the inning. All five batters Cashner faced reached and scored.
In the fourth, the Marlins scored five runs off Mike Foltynewicz, who exited in the inning with a left calf contusion after he was struck by Marcell Ozuna's comeback liner. Miami tied it with two in the sixth inning on Martín Prado's RBI single and Stanton's pinch-hit sacrifice fly.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
What a relief: When Ryan Weber replaced Foltynewicz in the fourth inning, he toed the rubber with two outs and the bases loaded. The 26-year-old right-hander remained poised, however, and escaped the jam by getting Justin Bour to fly out to center field. The Braves' bullpen ultimately allowed only two runs over 5 1/3 innings, as Jim Johnson capped the strong showing by retiring the Marlins in order in the ninth and effectively picking up Foltynewicz after he unraveled in the fourth.
"It was outstanding, all of them," Braves manager Brian Snitker said about his relievers. "[Weber] just getting that [flyout]. It's not the greatest matchup in the world against that lumberjack [Bour], so that was huge. And then all of them just kind of picked each other up. [Chaz Roe] did a great job coming in and allowing only one [inherited] run -- I think is all in his inning, and then [Gordon Beckham] made a great play up the middle for the double play to get [Mauricio Cabrera] out of trouble. The bullpen did a great job, and defensively there in the infield, we did a great job."
Ichiro passes Brock: Ichiro Suzuki reached another milestone in Miami's five-run fourth inning. When Ichiro delivered a two-out RBI single to right, it was his second hit of the game, and career No. 3,024, which moved him past Lou Brock (3,023) into 25th place on Major League Baseball's all-time hits list. The hit was a meaningful one because it closed the Marlins' gap to 7-3, and the team tacked on two more runs. Ichiro finished with three hits, running his count up to 3,025. More >
Coming up clutch: Markakis padded Atlanta's early 1-0 lead with a homer to lead off the second. The blast marked the right fielder's ninth in his previous 224 at-bats. The 32-year-old walked in his following plate appearance before scoring the final run in the Braves' five-run third. Then, with two outs and a runner on second in the sixth, Markakis strolled to the plate with the score tied at 7 and delivered an RBI double that gave Atlanta the lead for good. The at-bat marked Markakis' 86th of the season with two outs and runners in scoring position and raised his average to .279 in such situations. No batter in the Majors had more than 72 at-bats with two outs and RISP entering Monday.
"It was definitely a game where you could get lax and let them run away with it, but we continued to battle and put up good at-bats," Flowers said. "It seemed like we did a real good job situationally, getting guys over and getting them in. It was a good day taking advantage [of situations]. It wasn't the best day for pitching on either side, but we found a way to win."
Dietrich stranded: Off the bench, Derek Dietrich gave the Marlins a boost. In the five-run fourth inning, Dietrich had a pinch-hit RBI single. Dietrich, who attended Georgia Tech, also opened the seventh with a single. At the time, the Marlins were down, 8-7, and he represented the tying run. A key play in the seventh was turned by Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, who made a diving stop on Dee Gordon's sharp grounder. Dietrich advanced to second with one out, but he was stranded.
"That makes it, obviously, difficult to swallow," Mattingly said. "You get to seven. You're seven down and get back in it, and tie it, and actually have shots to go ahead. Then, not to be able to hold it down."
"We had a mission today. Everybody had a good attitude before the game. It seems to me, the mindset was to battle all the way through. I feel like we hit a lot of balls right at people, but at the same time, we had great at-bats. Unfortunately, they did the same thing." -- Prado after Miami's comeback fell short
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Braves won while allowing at least 17 hits for the first time since April 3, 2006, when Atlanta's Tim Hudson opposed Derek Lowe in an Opening Day matchup at Dodger Stadium.
Injuries piled up during a wild fourth. It started with Ozuna being struck on the side of the left knee by a 95-mph fastball from Foltynewicz. At first, it appeared the Miami right fielder may have to be replaced, but he took first. Ozuna ended up scoring in the frame as the Marlins pushed five runs across. More >
Ozuna batted again in the inning, and this time his comeback liner caught Foltynewicz's left calf and went for an infield single. Foltynewicz was replaced, walking off the mound. In the bottom of the frame, Ozuna was replaced for precautionary reasons with a bruised left knee. More >
Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson also exited the game in the fifth inning after getting hit in the groin by Flowers' throw as he stood behind the mound as Weber completed his warmup pitches in the fourth. More >
The Braves challenged a call in the seventh inning that Ichiro threw out Jace Peterson at third trying to advance on Beckham's flyout to right. Following a review, the call was overturned.
Marlins:Jake Esch (0-1, 4.82 ERA) makes his third Major League start at 7:10 p.m. ET on Tuesday in the middle of three games at Turner Field. The right-hander has been used in the rotation as a spot starter since David Phelps went on the disabled list with a left oblique strain.
Braves: Atlanta will counter with Matt Wisler, who will be making his first start since sustaining an oblique injury against the Padres on Aug. 31. The right-hander allowed three runs on a season-high 10 hits against the Marlins during the Fort Bragg Game on July 3.
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Pat James is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta and covered the Braves on Monday.
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.