Peterson's slam helps Braves trump Marlins, Stanton
By Joe Frisaro and Mark Bowman
MLB.com |@JoeFrisaro |
MIAMI -- The Braves continue to have Mat Latos' number. The big number they put up against the Miami right-hander on Saturday was five runs in the second inning, with four coming on one Jace Peterson swing. Peterson's first career home run was a grand slam that propelled the Braves to a 5-3 victory and a series win over Miami at Marlins Park.
"I was looking for something over the plate, and I was trying to hit it hard," Peterson said. "He threw me a fastball and I put a good swing on it."
Alex Wood gave up two runs (one earned) over seven innings. The lefty surrendered a monstrous home run to Giancarlo Stanton, who followed up his two blasts on Friday with a head-scratching 478-foot blast to the second deck in center. According to Statcast™, the drive (caught barehanded by a fan) had an exit velocity of 115 mph.
For the third time this season, the Braves have roughed up Latos -- who exited after three-plus innings when he was hit in the left shin by a line drive -- as he gave up five runs on eight hits. In 7 2/3 innings against Atlanta, Latos has allowed 14 earned runs (16.44 ERA). In his other five starts, his ERA is 2.73.
"Big hits," said Marlins manager Mike Redmond. "They got a big hit, the grand slam, and we had some opportunities to get big hits and we haven't been able to get [them]. We had lots of opportunities with two outs. When you talk about winning ballgames and getting on rolls and streaks, you have to get those big two-out hits -- and we just haven't been able to get them."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Double turns into five-run trouble: Peterson's grand slam highlighted Atlanta's five-run second inning. The inning got rolling with Andrelton Simmons' leadoff double. On the play, Miami left fielder Ichiro Suzuki nearly threw Simmons out at second. The strong one-hop throw wasn't handled by second baseman Dee Gordon. If Gordon gained possession, he might have gotten Simmons. Instead, a big inning followed.
Peterson proves he has some pop: Peterson was moved into the leadoff role on Friday because Nick Markakis was moved to the cleanup spot to account for Kelly Johnson's absence (strained oblique). The rookie second baseman had totaled two extra-base hits in 173 career plate appearances before making the most of his first home run. The grand slam he hit on Latos' first-pitch fastball helped him improve his batting average to .344 (21-for-61) over the past 17 games. More >
Latos bruises shin: It was a rough day overall for Latos, who not only gave up a grand slam and five runs, but also exited in the fourth inning after being struck on the left shin by Cameron Maybin's hot liner. Latos and Maybin were teammates in San Diego. The comebacker was tracked at 90 mph by Statcast. Latos hobbled off the field. The Marlins say he has a left shin contusion and is day to day. More >
"Anything from my left knee and above, I feel fine," Latos said. "It was a couple of jam shots that got through and a couple of ground balls that found holes -- and then I made the big mistake to Jace Peterson, a fastball in, and he parked it."
Sixth-inning escape: After the Marlins loaded the bases with one out in the sixth inning, Wood escaped unscathed by retiring Adeiny Hechavarria and Donovan Solano. The Braves' lefty proved perfect in just one of his season-high seven innings, but limited his damage to Stanton's homer and a Gordon RBI groundout in the second inning. He notched his only strikeout when Stanton looked at a curveball to end the fifth.
"It's just so hard bring the winning run to the plate. As much as you want to, and as much as the numbers tell you and the whole thing, it's hard. [Marcell] Ozuna is not chopped liver. He can split the gap or run one out of the ballpark and you lose the game. You've got to talk about all of those situations." -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez on the decision to pitch to Stanton before the Marlins' slugger stranded the tying runner at second base with a game-ending flyout to shallow center.
"I wasn't surprised at all. If you don't pitch to me, Ozo can hit any ball in the gap and I can score. Fastball out over the plate. You're not going to give me another one, on purpose." -- Stanton on lifting a fly ball to center for the final out and if he was he surprised to be pitched to with Ozuna on deck.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Peterson joined Marcus Giles (2001), Barry Bonnell (1977) and Vic Correll (1974) as the only players in Atlanta history to have a grand slam account for their first career home run.
The Marlins won a replay challenge in the eighth inning. Atlanta's Todd Cunningham tried to go from first to third on Steve Cishek's error on a pickoff attempt. But Gordon made an accurate throw to Martin Prado at third. At first, Cunningham was ruled safe. But the call was overturned after a review of 45 seconds.
Braves:Shelby Miller will bid to extend his recent dominance on Sunday afternoon, when Atlanta attempts to complete its second three-game sweep of the season at Marlins Park. Miller has surrendered just six hits over his past 16 innings and has compiled a 1.83 ERA over his past 14 starts.
Marlins: In Sunday's series finale at Marlins Park, Henderson Alvarez is being reinstated from the disabled list, and will make his first start since April 12. Miami's Opening Day starter, Alvarez has made two starts and is 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA.