MIAMI -- The first cycle in Marlins history wasn't meant to be, but J.T. Realmuto still showcased his wide range of skills with a single, double and home run in Miami's 6-3 win over the Braves on Friday at Marlins Park.Realmuto's three-hit night helped set the tone early, and the
MIAMI -- The first cycle in Marlins history wasn't meant to be, but J.T. Realmuto still showcased his wide range of skills with a single, double and home run in Miami's 6-3 win over the Braves on Friday at Marlins Park.
Realmuto's three-hit night helped set the tone early, and the Marlins were able to even the four-game series with the Braves, snapping a four-game skid. Dan Straily collected the win, giving up three runs (two earned) in five innings. Brad Ziegler closed out the ninth for his 100th career save, and fourth of the season.
"Its crazy," Realmuto said, of no Marlins player ever completing the cycle. "It's just one of those crazy stats. It's really tough to get. But oh well.
"I've been a triple away like four different times. A double away once. It's very frustrating. I've been close three or four times since I've been here, but still haven't quite gotten it."
Starlin Castro also homered for Miami and Miguel Rojas and Derek Dietrich added three hits apiece, part of a 14-hit night, with 11 coming off Atlanta starter Brandon McCarthy in six innings.
"Obviously, we put a lot of hits together today," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "Brandon is a guy that you have to try to get him up in the strike zone and keep him on the plate. He gets a lot of movement. I thought our guys stayed within themselves, and fought him off. I thought we did a nice job of just continuing on."
Realmuto had three-fourths of the cycle completed after his first three at-bats. But he finished 3-for-5, grounding to short in the sixth inning and lining into a double play in the eighth.
"I thought about it after my third hit," Realmuto said. "But when I got back up to hit, I wasn't really thinking about it."
In the first inning, Realmuto doubled and scored on Castro's ground ball to short. His home run in the third was a drive to left field that Statcast™ projected at 400 feet, with an exit velocity of 103.2 mph. In the fourth inning, Realmuto slapped an RBI single to center, giving him two RBIs on the night.
Straily, making his third start since coming off the disabled list with a right forearm strain, got his pitch count up to 102, as the Braves made him work. Getting through the fifth was a challenge, and the righty was only allowed to complete the inning after a mound visit by Mattingly with two out and one on. Given the green light to face Kurt Suzuki, Straily forced a groundout to third base, preserving a 4-3 Miami lead.
"You've got to be honest with him, that's the thing," Straily said, of his meeting with Mattingly on the mound. "There are conversations that are going on throughout the game all the time. They're usually not on the center of the field like that, but there are conversations like that going on all the time [about] how you're feeling. You've got to be on and you've got to trust each other. Don asked me if I was out of gas, if I had anything left to get Suzuki out. I felt great."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Ziegler secured his 100th career save by getting Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies, who had homered in the third, to line out to Cameron Maybin in left field. The milestone was a big one for the 38-year-old, who has been in multiple late-inning roles throughout his career. A submarine-style thrower, Ziegler induces plenty of ground balls, and the Marlins have entrusted him with the ninth inning.
"Pretty awesome," Ziegler said. "More than anything, it shows I've been on a lot of good teams. You don't get saves without having leads. It has been fun pitching the ninth inning probably a lot more than I would have envisioned when I first got to the big leagues."
Since coming off the disabled list on April 17, Realmuto leads all National League catchers with five home runs.
HE SAID IT
"I think this ballpark is a good place for it. I'm kind of surprised nobody has. The triple is probably one of the harder things to come up with. This ballpark is conducive, if you hit the ball in the right spot and split those seams. It's something that is pretty doable." -- Mattingly, on no Marlins player ever achieving the cycle
Jarlin Garcia takes the mound for the Marlins at 7:10 p.m. ET Saturday against the Braves at Marlins Park, looking to bounce back after allowing a career-high seven runs in four innings at the Cubs. The young lefty has a 3.68 ERA in 10 appearances vs. the Braves in his career. Atlanta counters with rookie right-hander Mike Soroka.
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.