Gillespie's homer helps Marlins defeat Braves
ATLANTA -- Cole Gillespie's second-inning homer extended Shelby Miller's winless streak to 19 starts and propelled the Marlins toward a 4-0 win over the Braves on Monday night at Turner Field.
Gillespie's one-out solo shot accounted for the only run surrendered during the seven-inning effort provided by Miller, who has not earned a win since coming one out shy of no-hitting the Marlins on May 17. The Braves right-hander has posted a strong 3.12 ERA during his 19-start winless streak, but this marked the ninth time during the span he received zero runs of support.
"I had good command of my pitches tonight," Miller said. "I thought catcher [Christian Bethancourt] called a great game, made some great defensive plays and saved some hits. But it was obviously a tough loss."
Making just his second start since the 2012 season, Marlins left-hander Chris Narveson limited the Braves to two hits over 5 1/3 scoreless innings. Narveson exited with a blister and then watched Martin Prado and Justin Bour produce a pair of insurance runs courtesy of consecutive two-out doubles recorded off Matt Marksberry in the eighth inning.
Ichiro Suzuki's two-out walk put Miami in position to add on in the eighth inning. When Ichiro scored on Prado's double, it was the 1,342 run of his MLB career, and his 2,000th professional run, counting his nine seasons in Japan.
"Ichy gets the base on balls, two outs there," Marlins manager Dan Jennings said. "Prado with the double, and Bour changes places with him. That was big."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Gillespie goes deep: Gillespie is known more for his defense, and ability to play all three outfield positions. The Marlins gave him the start in center field on Monday in place of Marcell Ozuna. The decision paid off, as in the second inning, Gillespie smoked a one-out home run to left field, his second homer in 51 games.
"Gillespie hits the home run early, and stakes us with the lead," Jennings said.
Narveson exits with blister: Narveson was cruising along nicely, allowing one hit and two walks through five shutout innings. But with one out in the sixth, the lefty allowed a broken-bat single to Pedro Ciriaco. On the pitch, an 84-mph two-seamer, Narveson grimaced. Pitching coach Chuck Hernandez and trainer Sean Cunningham headed to the mound, and the lefty was immediately replaced by Kyle Barraclough. A few minutes later, it was announced Narveson has a blister on his left middle finger.
"It popped up in the third," Narveson said. "Luckily, it didn't pop until the sixth. I wanted to go as deep into the game as possible. It kind of stinks to come out a little early. But I'm happy the team got a win." More >
More misfortune: Miller had himself to blame for the curveball that Gillespie drilled over the left field wall with one out in the second inning. But the Braves right-hander made few other mistakes before he was lifted after he took the mound to throw his warmup pitches in the eighth inning. This marked the 12th time during the 19-start winless span that he has allowed two earned runs or fewer. But it was also the 14th time during the span that he received two runs or fewer of support.
"I can't explain it," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "The only thing I can explain is the way Shelby has behaved through all of this and the way he has gone out and battled through all that we have asked him to do. He doesn't flinch for a young man and I hope that continues." More >
Sixth-inning chance: On the way to losing for the 13th time in their past 14 games, the Braves had few opportunities. Their only true scoring threat occurred in the sixth when Ciriaco singled and was thrown out attempting to steal second base. This proved more costly when Barraclough issued consecutive two-out walks to Freddie Freeman and Nick Swisher before Adonis Garcia popped out to Adeiny Hechavarria.
"Clean game. Very crisp all around. … I like the way these guys battled tonight. Ten hits. We put together some quality at-bats. Pitching made it stand up. But Narvy definitely set the tone." -- Jennings, on the Marlins' performance
GOMES TRADED TO ROYALS
The Braves announced that they sent Jonny Gomes and cash considerations to the Royals in exchange for Minor League shortstop Luis Valenzuela. The deal was announced shortly after Gomes was pulled from Monday night's game with the Marlins and had a chance to exchange dugout hugs with some of his Atlanta teammates.
"It was obviously tough news regarding one of the best guys in the clubhouse," Miller said. "He's one of the best leaders I've been around and one of the best teammates I've ever been around. He's always in a positive mood. He does anything he can to make the vibe better. I'm obviously going to miss him a lot." More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Ciriaco began the bottom of the fourth inning by drawing his first walk in a span of 195 plate appearances dating back to July 4, 2013.
Marlins: Rookie left-hander Justin Nicolino (2-2, 3.65) makes his seventh big league start on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. ET. It will be his first meeting against Atlanta.
Braves: Because Miller moved up a day to pitch in place of Mike Foltynewicz (fever and viral symptoms), Atlanta will start Manny Banuelos on Tuesday. The rookie southpaw will likely not be permitted to throw more than 50-55 pitches. He was sidelined on July 28 with a bone chip in his left elbow.
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