Realmuto homers, but Fish can't contain Acuna

All-Star catcher finding his groove over past six games

August 15th, 2018

ATLANTA -- A sluggish Marlins offense woke up a bit on Tuesday night, with J.T. Realmuto leading the way with a home run and four RBIs. But once again, the team didn't have an answer for
Acuna belted two home runs, including a leadoff shot for the third straight game, and drove in four runs as the Braves outslugged the Marlins, 10-6, at SunTrust Park.
At a time the Marlins are reeling, Realmuto continued to show signs of coming out of his slump. Realmuto opened August 1-for-23 (.043), but the All-Star catcher is 7-for-17 (.412) with a home run and two doubles over his last six games.
"He looks good again," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "He went through a little stretch there it seemed like after the break, where he seemed off. Now, he really looks like he's seeing the ball better. You can see his takes, his swings, he looks a lot better."

After dropping both games of a doubleheader on Monday -- 9-1 and 6-1 -- the Marlins found themselves in a back-and-forth affair that eventually was settled when Dansby Swanson snapped a 6-6 tie with a run-scoring single in the seventh. The crushing blow came later in the inning on Acuna's three-run, opposite-field homer off , who was tagged for five runs in two frames.

The Marlins have dropped four straight and 13 of 15.
Two pitches into the night, it appeared the game would mirror Monday's twin bill. ' first two pitches were taken deep for home runs -- first by Acuna, then by Charlie Culberson.
"They were hunting fastballs all night," said Richards, who allowed five runs on 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings. "They hunted the first two and hit them out. I left them over the plate, and they made me pay."

Miami was able to regroup and get back into the game.
"We swung the bats better," Mattingly said. "We kind of responded all night. They get two homers like that to start the game, and it's almost like, 'Here we go again.' But our guys, J.T. get us back in it. We swung the bats pretty good for a while. Just that sixth, we lost momentum right there and we didn't do anything else."
Realmuto snapped out of his slump with a two-run homer and two-run single off .
"Feeling better. Starting to see the ball better," Realmuto said. "Went through that slump where I was a little late and wasn't swinging at good pitches."

Like he did in each game of Monday's doubleheader, Acuna homered to lead off the first. The past two games were on the first pitch. The 20-year-old rookie made history with his first-inning shot, becoming the youngest player ever to homer in five consecutive games.
Miami took a 6-5 lead in the sixth inning on Christopher Bostick's pinch-hit RBI double, which scored from first. But the lead was short-lived, as Freddie Freeman connected on a two-out solo home run off Conley in the sixth.

Acuna's three-run, opposite-field shot in the seventh off Conley broke open a four-run lead.
"They're a really good offense," Realmuto said. "Hit for average and power from top to bottom. We just haven't done a good enough job with executing our pitches, and they're not missing our mistakes."

A turning point came in the sixth inning for the Marlins after they took a 6-5 lead on Bostick's pinch-hit double. The Marlins loaded the bases with no outs, so they had a chance for more, but struck out and tapped into a 4-6-3 double play.
"Obviously, the sixth," Mattingly said. "We take the lead there. We have the bases loaded. We have the right guys up there, honestly. Have a chance to do some damage, and we weren't able to get anything there. You kind of could feel the momentum change right there. They came right back and scored on us."

The Marlins have lost seven straight games at SunTrust Park, the longest single stretch in franchise history at Atlanta.
Bostick's path to the Marlins was an unexpected one. On Sunday, Miami acquired him from the Pirates for cash considerations. Bostick was initially scheduled to report to Triple-A New Orleans, which is playing in Memphis. He was flying to Memphis on Monday with a connection in Atlanta. During his layover, Marlins third baseman strained his left quad and landed on the disabled list. Bostick was informed he was joining the Marlins, and he arrived in time to walk in his only plate appearance during Monday's doubleheader. On Tuesday, he ripped an RBI double down the third-base line. More >

"He's looking for fastballs over the plate and I didn't execute them enough. It leaked back over. Just looking for fastballs, and I gave him some tonight." -- Richards, on Acuna
The Marlins dealt , who opened the season as the rotation's No. 3 starter before moving into a bullpen role, to the Angels for cash considerations on Tuesday night. The veteran right-hander, who went 2-0 with a 5.31 ERA in 11 games (one start) for the Marlins this season, was placed on the DL in late April with a right forearm strain. At New Orleans, he posted a 2-3 record with a 4.36 ERA in 43 1/3 innings.
The trade clears a 40-man roster spot, as Miami is now at 39. The organization is in position to bring up a player from the Minor Leagues should a decision be made to place (left ankle bruise) on the DL.
A candidate who could be in line for a promotion is No. 28 prospect Austin Dean, who is batting .326 in 87 games at New Orleans after hitting .420 in 22 games at Double-A Jacksonville. Dean isn't on the 40-man roster.
Dean also is a candidate to be brought up even if Rojas doesn't go on the DL. He could play right field if Anderson is moved to third base with Prado (left quad strain) sidelined.
The Marlins wrap up their four-game series at SunTrust Park at 7:35 p.m. ET with getting the start, opposing . Urena will be making his team-leading 24th start, but he has had a tough time against the Braves. The right-hander is 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA vs. Atlanta this year.