Braves defeat Marlins, despite Stanton's two homers
By Mark Bowman and Joe Frisaro
MIAMI -- Giancarlo Stanton put on a home run show, blasting two towering, 400-plus foot home runs. But it was the pesky hitting of Todd Cunningham that proved to be the difference as the Braves defeated the Marlins, 5-3, on Friday night at Marlins Park.
Cunningham, who hadn't had an at-bat since 2013, had three hits, scored two runs and drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning. Atlanta added an insurance run in the eighth, scoring on Bryan Morris' wild pitch that struck out Christian Bethancourt.
"Tonight was one of those nights where it would have been great if we could have gotten someone on base when he was swinging the bat," Miami manager Mike Redmond said. "Unfortunately tonight, they were solo."
Atlanta right-hander Julio Teheran gave up two runs in 5 2/3 innings, while Miami's David Phelps allowed three runs in six innings. His eight strikeouts were one shy of his career high.
"[Teheran] didn't have his best stuff, but he did a good job to keep us in the game," said Braves third baseman Phil Gosselin."He's always going to battle and give you a good outing, no matter what."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Cunningham's three-hit debut: Cunningham, who was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett on Thursday, produced a three-hit performance that was capped by his game-winning single in the eighth. Along with scoring on Teheran's two-run single in the second inning and combining with Cameron Maybin to notch consecutive doubles in the fourth, the versatile outfielder also ranged deep into the left-center-field gap to rob Martin Prado of an extra-base hit in the first inning. More >
Stanton strikes twice: Home runs have tended to come in bunches for Stanton. The slugger is on one of his rolls, posting his 14th career multi-homer game. The last time the two-time All-Star connected twice in the same game was Aug. 14, 2014, against the Cardinals. As tracked by Statcast™, Stanton's first home run traveled 400 feet with an exit velocity of 112 mph. Blast No. 2 was more impressive, a drive to center that landed in the camera well. It was tracked by Statcast™ at 474 feet and 113 mph. Stanton's HR that exited Dodger Stadium on Tuesday was tracked at 475 feet. More >
Teheran shows some improvement: When Teheran committed a throwing error and allowed three of the first five hitters he faced to reach safely in the first inning, it looked like he was destined to extend his recent struggles. But after limiting the Marlins to one run during a 26-pitch first inning, he counted Stanton's third-inning homer as the only other damage he incurred during this effort. More >
Marlins strand: The Marlins hammered out 12 hits, and had numerous opportunities. But they went 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position, and left 11 on base. Down two in the eighth inning, J.T. Realmuto doubled to lead off the inning, and he was on third with one out, but was unable to score.
"We may have some shortcomings here and there. But we don't have a shortcoming with want-to and fighting and battling back. They tied the game with Stanton's [second] homer and we came right back to score a couple runs. It was nice." -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, on his team bouncing back in the eighth inning
"It would have been nice if it came in one of the games where we won, it would have been more exciting. All I was thinking running down the line was, 'You just gave one up to their guy, and it scored two runs.' It's frustrating." -- Phelps, who had his first big league hit, but allowed a two-run single to Teheran
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Phelps, formerly in the American League, had never collected a big league hit. That changed in the second inning when the Miami starter swatted a two-out single to center. Phelps was 0-for-10 on the season, and 0-for-17 in 21 plate appearances before raising his batting average.
Michael Morse accounted for six of the 10 swings and misses Teheran induced during his 103-pitch effort. The Braves right-hander, who entered Friday having produced a 6.23 ERA in his past five starts, has had trouble missing bats this season.
The Braves got the clutch, two-out, two-run single from Teheran in the second inning, but on the play, the Marlins got a big third out. Miami challenged a close safe call at third, and the play was overturned. Bethancourt was going from first to third on Teheran's single. Marcell Ozuna threw to Prado at third as Bethancourt attempted to slide. Third-base umpire Dale Scott signaled safe. After a review of one-minute, 7-seconds, the call was overturned for the third out.
Gonzalez's decision to challenge Christian Yelich's successful stolen base attempt in the third inning proved unsuccessful. After reviewing the play for 1:18, the umpires upheld Toby Basner's ruling that Yelich reached the bag ahead of Jace Peterson's tag.
Braves: When Alex Wood takes the mound for Saturday afternoon's game against the Marlins, he will attempt to pick up where he left off against the Nationals on Sunday. Wood allowed three first-inning runs against the Nats and then surrendered just three more hits over his final 5 2/3 innings.
Marlins:Mat Latos (1-3, 4.72 ERA) is coming off his first win, logging seven innings and giving up one run at San Francisco. The right-hander gets the nod in the middle game of the series on Saturday, with the start time at 1:10 p.m. ET. In his last five starts, Latos has a 2.73 ERA.