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Markakis' 2-run hit lifts Braves over Marlins

May 27, 2016

ATLANTA -- The Braves caught a few breaks and benefited from a successful challenge that set the stage for Nick Markakis to halt his recent woes and allow the Braves to extend their mastery of the Marlins with a 4-2 win on Friday night at Turner Field.After a replay review

ATLANTA -- The Braves caught a few breaks and benefited from a successful challenge that set the stage for Nick Markakis to halt his recent woes and allow the Braves to extend their mastery of the Marlins with a 4-2 win on Friday night at Turner Field.
After a replay review erased what would have been a double play to end the eighth inning with the game tied, Markakis laced a two-run single that bounced off Marlins third baseman Martin Prado's glove and gave the Braves a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Atlanta remained perfect through four games against Miami and notched just its third win in 23 home games.
Overturned DP highlights crazy 8th
"I thought we had the double play. I was pretty excited about that," Marlins reliever David Phelps said. "I've just got to make a better pitch to Markakis. I got him in a place I could either put him away or get some weak contact."

Markakis, who had hit .119 over his previous 19 games, also notched a single during the two-run fifth inning constructed against an erratic Adam Conley, who managed to allow just two runs despite hitting three batters and surrendering eight hits over 4 1/3 innings. Atlanta's starter Williams Perez surrendered two doubles during a two-run third inning, but he was otherwise effective over the remainder of his six innings.
"Guys were lining out and having good at-bats," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "Finally, one went our way. That's not being anything but truthful when I say that."
Frustration to elation: Momentum swung in favor of the Braves by a split second. Marlins reliever David Phelps almost miraculously worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam with the score tied on Tyler Flowers' squibber back to the mound. Phelps went home for the force out, and catcher J.T. Realmuto threw to first for what initially was called a double play, which would have ended the inning. But after the call was overturned, the Braves still had two outs and the bases full. They caught a break when sure-handed Prado was unable to collect Markakis' liner that deflected off his glove. Two runs scored on a play that was ruled a hit, after an official scoring change, making both runs earned.
"I heard the two hits [Flowers' foot and the ball against the glove], and I thought he was [safe]," Snitker said. "I didn't really know. It seemed closer than what it really looked from what I could see on the big board."

Conley's lack of control: Miami lefty Conley struggled with command and control over 4 1/3 innings. Of his 90 pitches, 54 were strikes. Conley was unable to preserve a two-run lead, and he hit three batters with pitches, which matched a Marlins record. Nine times in club history, Miami pitchers have plunked three in an outing, with Chris Volstad being the last to do so on Sept. 1, 2010, against the Nationals. Conley struck out three while giving up eight hits with one walk.
"At this point, you've got to execute," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "You've got to get the ball where you want it, and make sure you're getting the ball to your spots. If you don't get your spots, and get into bad counts, you're going to give up some hits."

Ugly trend halted: After stranding seven runners and going 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position through the first four innings, the Braves produced a two-run fifth that was highlighted by Freddie Freeman scoring from first base on Flowers' double off the right-center field wall. Jeff Francoeur's game-tying single highlighted his four-hit night and gave Atlanta two hits with runners in scoring position during the inning, or one more than they had recorded through this homestand's previous 35 frames.
"You've got to believe if you keep getting guys on like that, eventually something is going to click," Francoeur said. "I think the more chances you give yourself, the better chance you're going to have." More >

Ozuna keeps streak alive: Ozuna continued on his torrid pace in May. The Marlins' center fielder had a single in the first inning and an RBI double in the third. He added another single in the eighth. The 25-year-old has now reached safely in 34 straight games, the longest such streak in the Majors this season. It also matches the longest streak by a Miami player since Logan Morrison reached in 34 straight from April 1-June 3, 2011. The franchise record is 46 in a row by Luis Castillo from April 25-June 21, 2002. Ozuna finished with three hits, including an RBI double. More >

"There's a lot of talk about their record and their record at home, but guys are in the big leagues for a reason. You can't take anyone lightly here. It's not a bad ballclub. There's a lot of guys in that lineup that can do some damage. Everyone is capable of getting big league hitters out, and everyone is capable of putting good swings on balls, and that's what they've done against us every game so far. But it's also four games." -- Phelps, on the Braves being 4-0 against Miami
Ichiro Suzuki's third-inning double was career hit No. 2,961, moving the 42-year-old 39 hits away from 3,000. Ichiro is closing in on Sam Crawford (2,964) for 31st all-time.
Markakis' fifth-inning single snapped an 0-for-27 with runners in scoring position skid for the Braves. Atlanta ended up 5-for-21 with RISP, tallying their season-high total for at-bats in these situations.
Marlins:Wei-Yin Chen (3-2, 4.61 ERA) makes the start for Miami on Saturday for the 4:10 p.m. ET game at Turner Field. The lefty is 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA in two career starts against Atlanta.
Braves: Atlanta will counter with Aaron Blair, who will be making his first appearance since being demoted to Gwinnett after allowing nine earned runs in just 1 1/3 innings in Pittsburgh on May 17. Blair showed some promise during his first three career starts, but he has struggled to command his fastball in his past two starts. .
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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for since 2001.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.