ATLANTA -- A quick exit for Jose Urena on Wednesday created a long night for the Marlins' bullpen. The heavy workload proved costly.
Dansby Swanson connected on a two-run homer and drove in three runs, and the Braves rallied to hand the Marlins a 5-2 loss in a game that was interrupted in the first inning because of a benches-clearing incident.
Urena's night lasted one pitch, as the right-hander plunked Ronald Acuna Jr., who had homered in five straight games. That included four homers in the first three games of the series. After benches and bullpens cleared, Urena and Atlanta manager Brian Snitker were ejected.
"What we said with Jose is, 'I don't want to see this kid get hit.' He's a great player," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "He's going to be great for a long time. For us, he's beat us up, but this is not the way we want to handle that situation.
"Obviously, this is not something that we represent or believe in as an organization or myself, too. I would never want that kid getting hit and cause that kind of problem."
Five Miami relievers were called upon to cover eight innings, and the Braves overcame a two-run deficit to complete a four-game sweep. The Marlins have now dropped five straight, 14 of 16 and 11 straight on the road.
"It worked out terrible for our team," catcher J.T. Realmuto said. "The fact that we've been taxed the last week, really. Guys have been used a lot, and having to come in and throw eight innings for this game, when Jose's usually a guy you can get six or seven out of, it really taxed the 'pen. Luckily we have an off-day tomorrow, so those guys can get some rest."
Urena is known for pitching inside, and he now has hit 11 batters, which is tied with St. Louis' Carlos Martinez for the most in the National League. He and Jhoulys Chacin paced the Majors with 14 hit batters in 2017.
"People get upset and things like that, but I got upset, too, because how am I going to wait five days to go out there and make one pitch and get kicked out of the game?" Urena said. "That don't make sense, right? Always, I throw inside. That's my way to get outs. I go inside and try to take advantage and try to move [the batter's] feet, and that's the thing."
Elieser Hernandez threw three scoreless innings after Urena was tossed.
"I didn't expect to go in that situation, but once they put me in, I was in there to attack and get outs," Hernandez said.
But in the fourth, Swanson belted a two-run homer off Jarlin Garcia, who allowed three runs in the frame. Javy Guerra tossed a scoreless fifth, but Drew Rucinski permitted an Ender Inciarte RBI single and Swanson sacrifice fly in the sixth.
"Elieser was available today, but I didn't really want to go three," Mattingly said. "But he was pretty efficient. Jarlin is a guy that is out there I'd have liked to stay away. Again, I don't want nine innings out of our bullpen that's already been beat up."
Brett Graves didn't allow a run in the seventh and eighth innings.
"Obviously, we don't want that. It puts our bullpen in a tough spot," Mattingly said. "We had guys pitching that really shouldn't have been pitching today. We've been beat up the whole series. I definitely don't need nine innings out of my bullpen."
Urena's two-seam fastball that caught Acuna in the left elbow area was 97.5 mph, his fastest first pitch ever tracked.
"I don't know if I tried to overpower it," Urena said. "I don't try to do that because I just try to command my pitches and try to put the ball at one point. And when I get deep in the game, I try to use a little power, but the first pitch -- I don't know how it was."
Acuna initially remained in the game and ran the bases, but during warmups before the top of the second inning, he was replaced by Adam Duvall in left.
The Marlins are off on Thursday before opening a three-game series on Friday at Washington.
"We're going to have to make sure, again, I'm going to sound like a broken record," Mattingly said, "We're going to have to regroup as far as individuals. What are they going to represent? We talk about what we want to be as an organization, and they have to represent that going forward."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Marlins scored off Braves right-hander Kevin Gausman in the first inning on Brian Anderson's RBI single. Rafael Ortega got the inning going by drawing a walk and stealing second. With one out, Anderson singled up the middle. A chance to do more damage was averted when Starlin Castro tapped into a 6-4-3 double play.
Castro, who connected on an opposite-field homer in the fourth inning, recorded his 10th home run to give him eight straight seasons with double-digit homers. He is one of three middle infielders with at least 10 home runs in every season since 2011. Ian Kinsler and Asdrubal Cabrera are the others.
CONFUSION OVER EJECTION
Urena's ejection came as a surprise to the Marlins because initially, the umpires didn't toss the Miami right-hander. Urena didn't say anything to get the delayed ejection. He actually threw a few warmup pitches as the umpires huddled and then determined they felt the pitch that struck Acuna was on purpose.
"That was what my conversation with the umpires was all about, that he wasn't thrown out right away," Mattingly said. "Then [Braves manager Brian Snitker] came back out and then all of a sudden, he was thrown out. That's what my biggest question was. If you think he did it on purpose, then throw him out right away, and just take care of it. But that's not what happened. Basically, what they told me is they think he did it on purpose and they wanted to get it right. For me, if you're going to do it, they should have done it right away."
Added Urena: "I try to come out to the game to get deep into a game. The first pitch you hit somebody. [The umpires] knew that was a mistake and they let me warm up. But those people, they got crazy and they started to attack me and I don't know what they were looking for. I just backed up and tried to stick to my game plan."
HE SAID IT
"I think that tempers just got a little hot and you could see they're protective of one of their younger players. And obviously he's a great player, so just trying to maintain the peace. But sometimes there's miscommunication when all that goes on, and that's what happened today." -- Anderson, on taking on the role of peacemaker during the skirmish and getting shoved by Braves first base-coach Eric Young Sr.
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After an off-day on Thursday, the Marlins open a three-game series against the Nationals at 7:05 p.m. ET on Friday at Nationals Park. Dan Straily, who has a 3.93 ERA in 10 road starts, gets the ball. Straily has been his steady self, with a 3.99 ERA in his last seven starts.