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Late 'pen implosion wastes Brinson, Rojas HRs

MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

ATLANTA -- On a day the Marlins matched their highest run total of the season, propelled by Lewis Brinson's grand slam and Miguel Rojas' two homers, the bullpen endured its roughest outing.

The Marlins squandered a five-run lead in the ninth inning in a 10-9 walk-off loss to the Braves on Dansby Swanson's two-out, two-run single off Tayron Guerrero at SunTrust Park.

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ATLANTA -- On a day the Marlins matched their highest run total of the season, propelled by Lewis Brinson's grand slam and Miguel Rojas' two homers, the bullpen endured its roughest outing.

The Marlins squandered a five-run lead in the ninth inning in a 10-9 walk-off loss to the Braves on Dansby Swanson's two-out, two-run single off Tayron Guerrero at SunTrust Park.

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For an inexperienced club like the Marlins, it is going to have to try to regroup after watching a six-run edge earlier in the game evaporate.

"This is a tough one," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "You don't really get much tougher than this. You have a game in hand. You have your closer on the mound, a chance to get outs. We're going to have to [turn the page], but right now, it feels really hollow about getting ready to go play tomorrow, but that's what's going to have to happen.

"This one is going to sink in a little bit, and hopefully we find some way to learn from it. Whatever situation guys are in, hope that it's something that we have a chance to grow from. Myself, getting guys in the right position, and for all of us."

Video: MIA@ATL: Swanson laces a walk-off single in the 9th

With two outs in the ninth inning, six straight Braves reached, capped by Swanson's liner on a 2-2 offering down the left-field line with the bases full. The Marlins had been on the brink of taking the series, but instead dropped two of three.

"It is bad for me," Guerrero said. "I feel bad because we had the big lead in the ninth inning. I have to take this experience into the next outing and in this situation and do the best that I can."

Closer Brad Ziegler started off the ninth, getting the nod in a non-save situation. He struck out Swanson to open the inning, and he had a chance to end the game on Freddie Freeman's grounder to Rojas at first base. But Ziegler was late covering first, allowing Freeman to reach and advance to second on Rojas' throwing error. Ozzie Albies scored on the play.

"The play at first, I didn't get a quick start over there," Ziegler said. "Once I got there, I was so focused on hitting the base, I missed the ball. Obviously, the game is over at that point if we get that out."

Video: MIA@ATL: Albies hustles home to score on Rojas' error

After Ziegler's pitch count reached 30, he was replaced by Guerrero, who needed one out for what would have been his first Major League save. Guerrero faced four batters without recording an out.

"It looked like he just got a little excited, and obviously the couple of walks in there, and guys like [Kurt] Suzuki jump him early," Mattingly said. "He still had two strikes on Dansby early, but just couldn't put him away."

Video: MIA@ATL: Suzuki plates Markakis with an RBI single

Before the late-inning letdown, the Marlins got big offensive days from Brinson and Rojas.

The grand slam was the first by the Marlins since Justin Bour's shot against the Nationals on June 19, 2017, and the first by a Miami rookie since J.T. Realmuto on Aug. 12, 2015, against the Red Sox.

"This is going to be hard to swallow, but we have to learn from this going forward," Rojas said. "There's nothing we can do now. Hopefully, we can have good offensive days like we saw today. I'm happy to see Lewis swinging the bat. Good production from top to bottom."

Video: MIA@ATL: Mattingly on tough loss to Braves

ROJAS' POWER SURGE
Rojas had an eventful day, going 3-for-3 with two home runs and four RBIs, and he also was hit twice by pitches. Rojas now has seven homers on the season. He entered 2018 with five total in his career.

"I feel those getting hit by pitches gave me more confidence because I'm not scared to get pitched inside," Rojas said. "I'm going to take it, if I get the results after that."

According to Statcast™, Rojas' first home run, a two-run shot in the seventh inning, projected at 386 feet, with an exit velocity of 98.7 mph. In the ninth, he hit a solo shot, projected at 385 feet, with a 97.2 mph exit velocity.

"I feel like I've been working my whole career," Rojas said. "Finally, I got the opportunity to play every day. I'm not going to get tired saying this: I never played every day in the big leagues before. I know what I'm capable of. This is my first opportunity to play every single day. I know I have the capability to do this. In the Minors, I did it. I had a couple of decent seasons. In the Minors, when I got the opportunity, I played well."

Video: MIA@ATL: Rojas hits 2 homers, drives in 4 in Atlanta

SOUND SMART
In the fourth, the Marlins not only scored six runs, but they also hit for the cycle in the inning. Rojas, Brian Anderson and Martin Prado singled, Bour tripled, Starlin Castro doubled and Brinson homered. It marked the first time since Sept. 30, 2017, (first inning) against Atlanta that Miami hit for a cycle in a frame.

Video: MIA@ATL: Statcast™ measures Brinson's 450-foot slam

HE SAID IT
"I had a couple of flashbacks from last year. I remember they came back a couple of times. This is a new beginning, a new era. We have to learn from this and move forward." -- Rojas, on being walked off by the Braves at SunTrust Park. In 2017, Atlanta walked off Miami five times.

UP NEXT
Swept by the Mets at Marlins Park April 9-11, the Marlins begin their first series at Citi Field at 7:10 p.m. ET on Monday. Elieser Hernandez, who has eight innings of Major League experience, makes his second start. Former Marlin Jason Vargas gets the nod for the Mets.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Lewis Brinson, Tayron Guerrero, Miguel Rojas, Brad Ziegler