By Mark Bowman and Joe Frisaro
MLB.com |@mlbbowman |
ATLANTA -- Nick Markakis notched his third three-hit game of the week and Nick Swisher introduced himself to his new fans with a two-run, seventh-inning double that gave the Braves some breathing room as they extended their dominance of the Marlins with Saturday night's 7-2 win at Turner Field.
Playing his first game since being traded by the Indians on Friday, Swisher drilled the double off Mike Dunn and then did the Tomahawk Chop when he reached second base. The enthusiastic veteran's contribution increased the lead the Braves gained on Markakis' RBI single off Tom Koehler in the fifth inning.
"I was standing on second base and I haven't been in this ballpark but maybe once or twice before," Swisher said in an enthusiastic manner. "[The double] goes down, two runs scored and it puts us up 5-2. I look up and the place is going berserk, and the Chop just came out."
The Marlins, who have lost 10 of 12 against the Braves this season, tallied two runs through the first three innings against Mike Foltynewicz. But Miami was limited to just two more hits over the final six innings. Koehler allowed three runs over six innings and Foltynewicz limited his damage to two runs over 5 2/3 innings.
"We failed to hold the opportunity, quite honestly, in the back end," Miami manager Dan Jennings said. "Four runs. It's a little too much for us to overcome, but I thought T.K. battled."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Vets extend their streaks:A.J. Pierzynski extended his hitting streak to 13 games with an RBI single in the first inning and Markakis extended his streak to 15 games with a third-inning single. Cameron Maybin recorded a pair of doubles that put him in position to score on Pierzynski's first-inning single and Markakis' decisive single in the fifth.
"I call [Markakis] Ted Williams," Maybin said. "The guy is unbelievable. It seems like it doesn't matter if the guy is righty or lefty or the arm comes out of [the pitcher's] back, he just continues to put at-bats on pitchers. He's just your ultimate gamer."
Golden opportunity squandered: A blown chance in the second inning came back to haunt Miami. The Marlins did tie the score on J.T. Realmuto's single and Cole Gillespie's RBI double. On the play, Gillespie reached third on Jace Peterson's throwing error. With the go-ahead runner on third and no outs, the Marlins were unable to cash in with the go-ahead run. Adeiny Hechavarria grounded to short, Koehler struck out and Dee Gordon tapped to the mound. Atlanta reclaimed a 2-1 lead in its half of the second.
Koehler's quality start: On the day it was revealed Jose Fernandez was to be examined for right shoulder stiffness, the Marlins stressed the importance of starting pitchers working deep into games. Koehler answered the bell, going six innings. It was the first time in six games, or since Fernandez went six on Aug. 2, that a Miami starter lasted that many innings.
"He battled through, gave us six innings, and gave us a chance," Jennings said. More >
Rook rights himself: Foltynewicz minimized the potential damage of his control problems during the first two innings, but he ran into trouble when he issued three consecutive two-out walks (two of the four-pitch variety) in the third inning. After surrendering Gillespie's infield RBI single, the Braves rookie retired each of the next nine batters he faced. His velocity dropped during his final three innings, but this was simply a product of an adjustment to harness his command. More >
"Just raking bro, all day. That's what that man does, dude, he just rakes. He's just kind of one of those guys. I'm stoked he's finally on my team so I don't have to worry about him getting those clutch hits all the time." -- Swisher on Markakis, who has hit .379 during his hitting streak
"They played a good game today, executed a quality hit-and-run that set up a run for them. A hustle double that ended up setting up another run. I thought I made some good pitches. They fought some off when I was ahead in the count. Unfortunately, I gave up those two runs early." -- Koehler, on Braves executing in key situations
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Markakis is riding a 15-game hitting streak overall, but he's stayed hot against the Marlins all season. The Atlanta right fielder is now 17-for-41 (.415) with 10 RBIs vs. Miami.
PRODUCTIVE RETURNS Andrelton Simmons notched a sacrifice fly in the second inning and added an eighth-inning RBI double while playing his first game since spraining his right thumb on Aug. 1. Michael Bourn, who was also acquired in Friday's trade with the Indians, collected his first hit with a single in the eighth after Jonny Gomes plated Simmons. This was Bourn's first game for the Braves since he exited Atlanta as a free agent after the 2012 season.
UP NEXT Marlins: The series finale will start at 5:05 p.m. ET on Sunday, with Miami sending lefty Brad Hand (1-2, 4.71) to the mound. In three relief appearances against the Braves this season, Hand has given up one hit with five strikeouts over eight scoreless innings. This will be his second straight start, and fifth of the season.
Braves: Atlanta will counter with Shelby Miller, who has gone winless while posting a 3.14 ERA over his past 14 starts. Miller's last win occurred on May 17, when he came within an out of no-hitting the Marlins.