ATLANTA -- J.T. Realmuto ripped an RBI double off the wall. Starlin Castro chipped in with two hits, and Cameron Maybin came off the bench and delivered a double. If trade speculation was a distraction to the three veterans, they didn't show it.For Realmuto, Castro and Maybin, it was business
ATLANTA -- J.T. Realmuto ripped an RBI double off the wall. Starlin Castro chipped in with two hits, and Cameron Maybin came off the bench and delivered a double. If trade speculation was a distraction to the three veterans, they didn't show it.
For Realmuto, Castro and Maybin, it was business as usual, as they performed in front of the backdrop of the business of baseball. The three have been mentioned in possible trade scenarios, but on Monday night, they competed with the same passion as they've shown all season. Still, their efforts weren't enough as the Braves, powered by home runs from Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuna Jr., defeated the Marlins, 5-3, at SunTrust Park.
On the eve of Tuesday's 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline, the Marlins dropped the series opener at Atlanta, snapping their two-game winning streak.
In recent days, Maybin has been linked to a possible trade with the Yankees, while Realmuto has been mentioned going to the Nationals and Castro could be a candidate for a club looking for second base or infield depth.
"I think that's a good thing that I'm disconnected," Maybin said. "I don't know. I haven't heard. Nobody has called me or [given] me a heads-up. For me, it's just been kind of like, 'Task at hand. Task at hand.' I'm playing here right now. I try to disconnect from all of that.
"But if they're talking about you, that means you're still doing something that opens some eyes up. We'll kind of see what happens."
Brian Anderson belted a two-run homer off Julio Teheran in the first inning, but the Marlins weren't able to do much else. Miami left nine on base, as opposed to three for Atlanta.
"We're doing what we're supposed to do, it's a matter of finishing these games off," Anderson said. "We're right there. We're close. We've just got to keep grinding them out and working hard, and eventually, it will come our way."
Wei-Yin Chen's struggles on the road continued, as the lefty gave up five runs in five innings, including the home runs to Freeman and Acuna Jr. In nine road starts, Chen's ERA is 10.27, which actually dropped a little bit from the 10.47 it was entering the night.
At Marlins Park, Chen's ERA has been drastically different -- 2.18 in eight starts.
"I think I kind of struggled with my command out there today," Chen said. "I missed my spots, and they didn't let me get away. I faced them last week, and they probably made some adjustments. Today, some of the pitches I didn't execute, and they made me pay."
The Braves erased an early two-run deficit and took the lead for good in the third inning on Freeman's 18th home run of the season. Johan Camargo added an RBI double. Acuna Jr.'s home run to lead off the fifth padded the Braves' advantage to 5-3.
Anderson's home run in the first was the Marlins' first blast since July 24 at Marlins Park when Castro connected on a three-run homer, also off Teheran.
The Braves responded in the second, tying it at 2-2 on Ender Inciarte's sacrifice fly and Teheran's two-out RBI single.
"I felt like Freddie's and Acuna's [home runs] were tack-on runs after we were getting back in it," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "We had a couple of chances with guys out there, but we couldn't come up with the hit."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The nine runners left on base proved critical for the Marlins, who managed just a Realmuto RBI double in the fifth inning after Anderson's two-run homer in the first. In the seventh inning, the Marlins had a chance after Maybin doubled and advanced to third on Derek Dietrich's fly-ball out. Anderson hit the ball sharply back to the mound. The Braves were able to get Maybin in a run-down and erase him from the bases.
"It happens every once in a while, when you get guys on base, and you just don't get that big knock," Anderson said. "I had a runner on third and less than two outs, and the pitcher was able to snare a ground ball. It's situations like that we weren't able to cash in, and it came back to bite us a little bit. But we're going to keep working the counts, working the starting pitchers, get deep into the bullpen, and keep trying to get those situational hits."
Justin Bour drew two walks, one intentional, and he now has seven games with at least two walks against the Braves this season. He's the first player in franchise history to have seven such games against the same opponent in one season. Gary Sheffield (vs. Mets in 1996) and Giancarlo Stanton (vs. Braves in '13) accomplished the feat six times.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Home run No. 9 was an impressive shot to center field by Anderson. The 25-year-old rookie went deep off Teheran for a two-run dinger in the first inning. Per Statcast™, the drive projected at 418 feet with an exit velocity of 101.6 mph. Anderson now has 51 RBIs.
HE SAID IT
"Obviously, you'd like to have some guys who hit the ball out of the ballpark. There's going to be times we do and times we don't. I think we worry more about pure hitters that can hit the ball out of the ballpark. We'd rather have a 20-homer guy that's kind of a day-in, day-out guy that can do damage and get on base for the next guy. I think we're looking for more of that. I think it's pure hit first." -- Mattingly, on the Marlins seeking more pure hitters with power than strictly power hitters
Dan Straily is no stranger to being traded -- the veteran right-hander has been dealt four times in the past four years -- and is scheduled to start for the Marlins on Tuesday against the Braves at 7:35 p.m. ET at SunTrust Park. The non-waiver Trade Deadline is 4 p.m. ET Tuesday, and Straily has been the subject of trade speculation, although it appears he will remain in Miami. Kolby Allard will make his Major League debut for Atlanta.
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.