Ozuna powers Marlins' sweep of Braves

Ozuna powers Marlins' sweep of Braves

ATLANTA -- Rookie left-hander Adam Conley minimized damage over five innings, giving up three runs, and Marcell Ozuna provided some insurance with a two-run homer in the Marlins' 7-3 win over the Braves on Wednesday afternoon at Turner Field.

Braves right-hander Williams Perez gave up six runs (four earned) in five innings to take the loss as Miami was able to complete its first three-game road sweep of the season, moving a half-game ahead of Atlanta into third place in the National League East. The Marlins finished the road trip at 4-2, while the Braves have dropped eight straight and 15 of 16.

"Third is a lot better than fifth," Marlins manager Dan Jennings said. "It's good to see. This is a credit to these players and the way they're going about it. They signed up to play 162, and they're going about it the right way. I tip my cap to them."

The Marlins' bats came alive during the six-game road trip, as they scored 23 runs on 45 hits with eight home runs.

For just the second time in history, the Marlins completed a three-game sweep at Atlanta. They previously did it April 2009.

Miami capitalized on Nick Swisher's error on Martin Prado's sacrifice fly in the fifth inning. The misplay led to a three-run inning, two of them unearned. Ozuna padded the lead with his two-run homer to left. Atlanta prospect Hector Olivera, in his second MLB game, collected his first hit, a two-run single in the third inning.

Gordon scores on error

The Marlins claimed a two-run lead in the second inning on Jeff Mathis' RBI double and Conley's run-scoring single. But in the third inning, the Braves sent eight to the plate and scored three times to claim a 3-2 edge on Olivera's two-run single.

Olivera's first career hit

"No one wants to finish the year in third place or fourth place," said Miami's Christian Yelich, who had four hits and scored twice. "For us to battle back to where we've been at to get to this point, it's big. But we still have a lot of season left. If we can finish on a high note. That's what's important."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Ozuna makes them pay: There was confusion as to where Ozuna would play on Wednesday. Initially, he was listed as playing right field for the first time this season, with Ichiro Suzuki set to play center. But shortly before the first pitch, the two flipped, and Ozuna was back in center. At the plate in the fifth inning, Ozuna left little doubt on his eighth homer of the season, a two-run shot with two outs that broke open a 6-3 Miami advantage.

"After what happened with [Giancarlo Stanton] last night, and what we've tried to do with our outfielders, create a rotation," Jennings said. "Obviously, Ozuna has played outfield throughout the Minor Leagues. We know he can do it. But felt like where we are right here, we felt it was better to keep it as is for today." More >

Stumbling early: After giving up two runs in the top of the second, the Braves had a chance to immediately hit back in the bottom half when they put two on with nobody out. But Olivera struck out, catcher Christian Bethancourt popped up to second and second baseman Daniel Castro grounded into a fielder's choice to end the inning.

A step up, three back: Atlanta center fielder Cameron Maybin broke an 0-for-19 streak in the third inning when he punched a 3-2 chopper to short that Miami's Miguel Rojas couldn't handle. It was ruled a hit. Maybin still had a rough afternoon. He struck out three times.

Conley's first MLB RBI: For a pitcher, Conley has shown the ability to hit. The southpaw doesn't have the largest sample size, but so far he's helped himself at the plate. Conley was 2-for-8 entering Wednesday's start, and in the second inning, he delivered an RBI single to center, putting Miami ahead 2-0. It was Conley's first career RBI.

Conley's first career RBI

QUOTABLE
"It's a great way to end this trip. I know it moves us into third place, which is a consolation. At the same time, it shows the fight that these guys have. They're battling every day. You know what? We have a chance to play spoiler. I just like the way they're going about it." -- Jennings, after the sweep.

"We're in some kind of a perfect storm right now, not scoring very many runs and allowing the other team to score runs. It's a tough combination." -- Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Ichiro enjoyed a two-hit game, with a double in the fourth inning and a single in the eighth. Ichrio now is 73 hits shy of the 3,000-hit milestone.

Ichiro singles to tie Simmons

Yelich's four hits, including matched a career high, which he's now done three times, the last coming on June 27 against the Dodgers.

INSTANT REPLAY
The Braves received a big replay assist in the third inning, which wiped out what was initially ruled a double play. With runners on first and second and no outs, Andrelton Simmons chopped a grounder to second. Dee Gordon fielded it and swiped his glove to try to tag Maybin on his way to second. Maybin made a move to avoid the tag. Initially, he was called out as Gordon threw Simmons out at first. But after a review of one minute and 36 seconds, the call was overturned. It helped set up a three-run inning.

Maybin avoids tag

Hechavarria exits in second
Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, the team's most durable player, was replaced in the second inning after reaching on a bunt single. Hechavarria, who has appeared in a team-high 130 games, was favoring his left leg, and he was replaced by Rojas. More >>

Hechavarria leaves early

WHAT'S NEXT
Marlins: Off on Thursday, the Marlins open a three-game series with the Mets at 7:10 p.m. ET on Friday at Marlins Park. Tom Koehler (8-13, 4.12 ERA) goes for Miami, with New York countering with Jacob deGrom (12-7, 2.32).

Braves: Atlanta makes its last trip of the season to the nation's capital for the first game of a four-game series with the Nationals on Thursday night (7:05 ET). Rookie right-hander Matt Wisler (5-5, 5.22 ERA) is scheduled to start. The Braves are 0-6 at Nationals Park this season.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. John Donovan is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.