Koehler starts solid, but Braves tee off on 'pen
Righty gives up two earned runs in five; pair of errors hurt Marlins
ATLANTA -- Riding high of late, the Marlins faced an all too familiar scenario at Turner Field on Tuesday night, as they were chopped down a few pegs by the Braves.
Chris Johnson snapped a tie with a two-out, two-run double in the sixth, and Kris Medlen was effective over six innings as the Braves rolled to an 11-3 victory, snapping Miami's three-game winning streak.
The Marlins entered the series having won six of seven and eight of 10. But they seem to struggle miserably against the Braves. Atlanta has beaten Miami all four times this year, after going 14-4 in the series last year.
Behind a season-high 16-hit attack, the Braves broke open a 3-3 game in the sixth.
"Their lineup is strong. They've got a lot of different weapons," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "They've got a lot of different guys who can do some damage up and down. You've got to pitch. You can't live in one spot. You've got to move the ball in and out, and you've got to keep guys off the basepaths. If you can do that, you've got a shot. If you don't, they're going to get you."
Since 2010, the Marlins are 8-20 at Turner Field.
The Marlins committed two errors, and were generally sluggish on a night they had plenty of chances as well as 11 hits.
"I don't think there is anybody in the clubhouse who is happy with the way we played today," Marlins starter Tom Koehler said. "But during the course of a 162-game season, these are going to happen. The real key will be how we respond tomorrow. If we come out tomorrow and we play the same style of baseball, then we're in trouble. But if we come back and fight hard, I think we'll be fine."
Logan Morrison belted a two-run homer in the first inning, but from that point, the club played sloppily and missed scoring chances. Adeiny Hechavarria enjoyed a three-hit day.
Koehler gave up three runs (two earned) in five innings in a no-decision. Medlen scattered nine hits and walked two while striking out just one in six innings. But it was enough for him to improve to 4-1 when facing the Marlins.
Justin Upton, Freddie Freeman and Brian McCann, the heart of the Braves' order, combined to go 8-for-13 with four RBIs and six runs scored.
Marlins infield coach Perry Hill preaches the importance of not giving teams extra opportunities.
"[Hill] talks about it all the time -- 27 outs and no more," Koehler said. "You give a team more than that, and sometimes they're going to get you. Tonight, they did. All we can do is move forward and come to the ballpark tomorrow and start fresh."
Greg Dobbs' two-out, pinch-hit RBI single in the sixth pulled the Marlins even at 3. From that point, the game turned lopsided.
The Braves broke through for four runs in the sixth, with three charged to Dan Jennings and the other to Ryan Webb.
Jennings had not allowed a run on the road in 7 1/3 innings entering the game. But he issued three straight singles to Upton, Freeman and McCann. Webb entered with no outs and the bases full. He nearly worked out of it, striking out Dan Uggla and Reed Johnson. But on an 0-1 pitch, Chris Johnson slapped a two-run double that skipped past Morrison at first base.
"I did my job. I got the strikeouts," Webb said. "I got the ground ball. I wouldn't take back any pitch I threw. It [stinks]. It's the way it happened."
"Webb has good stuff," Johnson said. "Against a righty, he's tough. I was just trying to get something out over the plate and try to get it through there."
Jordan Schafer added a pinch-hit, run-scoring single that deflected off Webb's right ankle, and Andrelton Simmons capped the inning with an infield RBI single. Webb's ankle will be re-evaluated on Wednesday.
The Marlins jumped on Medlen early. With two outs, Giancarlo Stanton walked and Morrison connected on a two-run homer to right.
Miami had chances to add on in the second and third innings. But each time, they stranded runners on third base. Morrison was picked off first with runners on the corners and one out in the third. And Marcell Ozuna followed by smashing a hard liner that was right at Simmons at short for the third out.
In the third inning, the Marlins also received a scare when Morrison was shaken up after colliding with Medlen at first base.
The Braves tied it at two on Medlen's sacrifice bunt. Third baseman Placido Polanco charged, and his throw drew Morrison into Medlen. Morrison crashed hard to the ground, where he was in visible pain. Braves first-base coach Terry Pendleton immediately signaled to the Miami dugout, and Redmond and the trainers sprinted to Morrison.
Dazed, Morrison was able to shake it off and he remained in the game. Medlen received a scratch to the back of his throwing arm.
"I don't know how none of the guys got hurt on the play at first base," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Morrison and also Medlen. You saw where he also pitched with a scrape on the back of his forearm the rest of the game. He's a competitor. He wants to be out there."
Morrison remained in the game, more shaken up than injured.
"That ball really sailed on Polly," Redmond said. "[Morrison] seemed to be alright. I'm sure he will be a little bit sore tomorrow. But yeah, that was a pretty nasty fall.