Peterson, Freeman back Harrell in MLB return

July 2nd, 2016

ATLANTA -- The Braves were determined not to let Jose Fernandez beat them twice in two days. They pounced on the hard-throwing right-hander in the first inning on Freddie Freeman's two-run homer, but the big damage came in a seven-run sixth inning that powered the way to a 9-1 win over the Marlins on Saturday at Turner Field.

Jace Peterson put an exclamation point on the inning with a three-run homer on Fernandez's 100th and final pitch. The night before, it was Fernandez who was celebrating at second base with a flexed biceps pose after collecting the go-ahead two-run double in the 12th inning of Miami's 7-5 win.

"I don't think last night has to do with anything with the results today," Fernandez said. "I felt I was throwing the ball well. They played better. That simple."

Right-hander Lucas Harrell, who made his first big league start since April 15, 2014, kept Miami in check with one run over six innings with five strikeouts. Ichiro Suzuki drove in Miami's lone run with a triple in the third inning, which at the time trimmed the Braves' lead to 2-1.

"I thought he carved us up pretty good, honestly," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "We didn't do much with them. He cut the ball to both sides of the plate, and he used a breaking ball and changeup and does a number of things. We just didn't do a whole lot with him."

Atlanta has now taken two of three in the series and eight of 11 on the season. These teams will conclude their four-game set on Sunday at Fort Bragg, in the first game in any professional sport to be played on an active U.S. military base.

"We came out, faced a good pitcher, battled and were able to get to him late," Peterson said. "It's a great win, a great way to kind of start the month, and we're looking forward to going to Fort Bragg tomorrow and trying to do it again."


Jace provides jolt: Peterson quickly extended his hitting streak to a career-best 13 games with his leadoff double in the first inning and would go on to score the first run on Freeman's two-run homer. In the sixth, the second baseman put the finishing touches on Atlanta's seven-run inning when he sent a three-run shot over the right-field wall. During his hitting streak, Peterson is batting .358 (19-for-53) with all three of his home runs.

"It's something," Braves manager Brian Snitker said about Peterson's success at the plate. "Ever since he's come back [from Triple-A Gwinnett], he's kind of been our catalyst and just getting things going. I'm happy as I can be for him."

Jose's roughest inning: A day after delivering his first pinch-hit, Fernandez gave up seven runs, which is the most he has ever allowed in an inning. Four were earned because Emilio Bonifacio reached on first baseman Chris Johnson's error. Fernandez was lifted after Peterson's three-run homer. Fernandez's previous high for runs in an inning was six during his rookie season. On May 27, 2013, the right-hander gave up six runs in the second at Tampa Bay.

"Rough day, man," Fernandez said. "It's so funny because baseball is so fantastic. It gets you back on your toes and get ready for your next start. It's that simple." More >

Heroic Harrell: With the Braves' starting rotation depleted due to injuries, regression and the recent Bud Norris trade, Harrell excelled in his spot start for Atlanta. The right-hander, who was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett on Saturday, struck out four of the first six batters he faced before giving up Ichiro's RBI triple in the third. But Harrell surrendered only one more hit across his next three innings en route to his first Major League win since defeating the Athletics on Aug. 14, 2013, while pitching for the Astros.

"Today was huge. Lucas was really good," Snitker said. "I had heard sinkers, sliders, keeps the ball on the ground, and he went out on the attack. [It was a] big, big start. We needed that for the bullpen, especially after last night." More >

Ichiro matches triples milestone: The quest for 3,000 MLB hits isn't the only milestone Ichiro has been pursuing. Another storyline being followed by the Japanese media that covers the 42-year-old is the triples mark. With his RBI triple in the third inning, Ichiro now has 92 three-base hits in the Majors and 115 total, when you combine his Japanese numbers. The Japanese record for triples is 115, held by Yutaka Fukumoto. In terms of 3,000 hits, Ichiro is at 2,989, just 11 away.


"I thought he was throwing the ball pretty good. It wasn't a typical Jose, but I thought he threw the ball good enough. I feel like if we had come out and swung the bats a little better for him, it's probably a different game. He's just trying to hang in there, keep it, 2-1. It puts a lot of pressure on him to do that." -- Mattingly, on Fernandez's overall afternoon


Derek Dietrich matched a single-season record before the All-Star break when he was plunked by a pitch in the ninth inning by Dario Alvarez. It marked the 17th time he has been hit by a pitch this year. That's the most ever by a Marlins player in an entire season. Carlos Delgado was also hit 17 times in 2005.


The Braves issued an unsuccessful challenge in the sixth after Chase d'Arnaud was ruled out on a groundout to first base. Atlanta skipper Brian Snitker challenged the play after it appeared d'Arnaud beat first baseman Justin Bour to the bag, but the ruling was upheld.

Bour was shaken up on the play and replaced by Chris Johnson later in the inning.


Marlins: The Marlins will be making history on Sunday when they play their series finale with the Braves at 8:05 p.m. ET at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. It will mark the first regular-season game for any professional sport at an active U.S. military base. Left-hander Adam Conley (4-5, 3.90 ERA) gets the start. On June 22 at Marlins Park, Conley threw eight shutout innings against the Braves in a win.

Braves: Atlanta will counter with Matt Wisler, who has recorded three straight quality starts after surrendering 13 total runs in his first two June starts. The right-hander's lone appearance against the Marlins this year came on April 17, when he pitched one inning of scoreless relief and earned the save in the Braves' 6-5, 10-inning win.

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