Ozzie Albies is experiencing the major leagues for the first time and entered the second contest of the Atlanta Braves’ four-game home series against the Miami Marlins after a wild swing of emotions. The 20-year-old second baseman made a critical error in the eighth inning of Thursday’s 6-5 victory that led to Miami evening the game, but he doubled in the tying run as Atlanta rallied in the bottom of the ninth.
Albies, one of baseball’s top prospects who figures to help anchor Atlanta’s infield moving forward, extended his hitting streak to six games in the ninth with a double into the gap in right-center field and finished with two RBIs. The Marlins fell for the 10th time in 11 games, scoring only 28 runs during that stretch, but showed some life offensively by plating three runs in the top of the first inning in the series opener and getting a pinch-hit single from Ichiro Suzuki to take a late lead. Suzuki’s 95th plate appearance as a pinch-hitter gave the 43-year-old the major-league record for most pinch-hit plate appearances in a single season. Dee Gordon extended his hitting streak to 11 games with two hits for Miami on Thursday and is one stolen base shy of reaching 50 for the third time in his career.
TV: 7:35 p.m. ET, FSN Florida (Miami), FSN South (Atlanta)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins RH Jose Urena (12-6, 3.71 ERA) vs. Braves RH Mike Foltynewicz (10-11, 4.75)
Urena has emerged as a key part of Miami’s rotation, allowing three earned runs or fewer in 14 of his last 17 starts. The 25-year-old gave up one run and six hits in seven innings of a no-decision Sunday against Philadelphia after going 3-1 with a 3.91 ERA in five turns last month. Urena is 1-1 with a 2.50 ERA in three starts versus the Braves this season, holding Atlanta hitters to a .197 batting average overall and a .150 mark at SunTrust Park.
Foltynewicz looks to snap his five-start losing streak, but the 25-year-old has pitched far better in his last two outings. He gave up two runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings against the Chicago Cubs last Friday and yielded one and four versus Colorado just five days earlier after posting a 15.43 ERA in his previous three starts. Foltynewicz registered a season-high 11 strikeouts against Miami on Aug. 5 and is 2-0 with a 2.66 ERA in four games (three starts) versus the Marlins in 2017.
1. Atlanta CF Ender Inciarte collected two more hits Thursday to raise his season total to 182 as he attempts to become the first Brave to record 200 in a season since Marquis Grissom finished with 207 in 1996.
2. Miami RF Giancarlo Stanton has slugged 42 of his 53 homers while batting second, the second-most from that lineup spot in major-league history (Eddie Matthews, Milwaukee Braves, 46 in 1959).
3. Braves SS Dansby Swanson went 2-for-4 on Thursday and has raised his season average from .208 to .240 over his last 26 games.
PREDICTION: Marlins 3, Braves 2