Marlins erase 5-run deficit, edge Braves
MIAMI — In a tale of two halves at Marlins Park on Friday, the visiting Atlanta Braves scored early while the Miami Marlins answered late for a 6-5 comeback victory.
The Braves tallied four times in the first inning and added another in the second for a 5-0 lead. But the Marlins answered with two runs in the sixth and four more in the seventh inning. Marcell Ozuna drove in three runs with a pair of hits to highlight the comeback.
He and Giancarlo Stanton are the first duo since 2005 with 120-plus RBIs. Stanton stands at 130 while Ozuna is now at 122. The Red Sox duo of Manny Ramirez (144) and David Ortiz (148), and Yankees’ pair of Gary Sheffield (123) and Alex Rodriguez (130) were the last to accomplish the feat.
“The record means that I can do really good in baseball,” Ozuna said. “That makes me proud.”
Ozuna’s RBI single in the seventh set the stage for Justin Bour to come through with a two-run single that proved to be the game-winner.
“We got down early but there was no quit there,” said Bour, who marked his 12th go-ahead and sixth game-winning RBI.
Brad Ziegler came out of the bullpen and threw one pitch to earn his 10th save, coaxing a bases-loaded, game-ending double play to preserve the win for Adam Conley (8-8), who came out of the bullpen.
The Marlins finally broke through in the sixth inning after Braves starter Luiz Gohara sailed through the first five. Ozuna delivered a two-run double after Dee Gordon singled and Stanton doubled. A single by J.T. Realmuto put runners at first and third, but Gohara worked out of further trouble, preserving a 5-2 lead with a pair of strikeouts.
He would not get the decision, however, because the Marlins added four more off four Atlanta pitchers in the seventh to take a 6-5 lead. Tyler Moore doubled and Miguel Rojas walked to open the inning, sending Gohara to the showers.
Singles by pinch hitter Tomas Telis and Stanton produced the first run of the inning before Ozuna added a single that scored Rojas to make it a one-run game. On the play, Braves center fielder Lane Adams cut down the potential tying run at the plate with a perfect throw home and catcher Kurt Suzuki applied the tag to get Telis.
No matter. Following a walk to Realmuto that loaded the bases, Bour delivered the key hit of the game, a two-run single that scored Stanton and Ozuna with the go-ahead runs.
The Braves wasted little time getting on the scoreboard. Ozzie Albies blasted the second offering of the game from Marlins starter Dan Straily over the fence in right field for his first career leadoff home run.
It turned out to be a rocky 28-pitch inning for the Miami right-hander. After yielding a single to Kurt Suzuki, he walked Freddie Freeman before Lane Adams belted a one-out, three-run homer to right field to stake the Braves to an early 4-0 lead.
For Adams, it was his second homer in two games. He hit one Thursday off Marlins reliever Drew Steckenrider. He has hit five home runs this season, all coming in a span of 80 at-bats. Three of those have been against Marlins pitching, including a dramatic two-run, walk-off homer on Sept. 10 — the first game-ending RBI of his career.
“We knew we had to be aggressive on Straily early,” Adams said. “We did a pretty good job early, just couldn’t keep it going the rest of the game.”
Straily appeared to settle down, getting the first two Braves in the second inning, but that was before Albies singled, stole second and scored on a double by Suzuki to extend the Braves’ lead to 5-0.
It was Straily’s shortest stint of the season, lasting just three innings. He gave up five runs on six hits, walking four and striking out three.
By contrast, Gohara cruised through the early innings, retiring the first seven batters he faced before yielding a third-inning double to Rojas. It was the only hit he allowed through the first five innings, which he navigated efficiently with just 57 pitches — 41 of those were strikes.
“I was just going out there to compete, pound the zone, try to get outs and go from there,” Gohara said. “This is a pretty good lineup. I set it down and just battled.”
He walked Ozuna with one out in the fourth inning, but those were the only two baserunners the Marlins could muster off the Braves’ rookie over the first five frames.
NOTES: OF Tyler Moore got the start in left field for the Marlins and continued a mini-hot streak with a seventh-inning double. He has five hits in his last 10 at-bats. ... Marlins OF Marcell Ozuna moved over to center, giving Christian Yelich a rest. ... Braves OF Ender Inciarte was not in the starting lineup, resting his sore left thumb. However, he did enter the game to play center field in a seventh-inning double-switch and batted once, striking out to lead off the ninth inning. Inciarte has a career-high 201 hits this season. He is expected to be back in the starting lineup for the final two games of the season on Saturday and Sunday. ... Braves RHP R.A. Dickey will not make his scheduled start on Sunday in the season finale. He is yielding to LHP Max Fried, who will start the final game of the 2017 season. The 42-year-old Dickey said he would determine in the offseason if his 15th major league season would be his last. He said he would like to remain on a Braves team that he feels is on the rise. Dickey also mentioned St. Louis and Cincinnati as teams he might be interested in playing for next season.