Braves pull out walk-off win over Marlins
ATLANTA — Late-inning rallies no longer surprise Atlanta manager Brian Snitker, so it was hardly a shock when his team scored two runs in the ninth inning and produced its 17th win in the final at-bat.
“These guys battle, they fight, they grind,” Snitker said after the Braves beat the Miami Marlins 6-5 on Thursday. “Things haven’t gone the way we want them consistently lately, but a lot of good things are happening. I’ve seen it many times out of this group of guys.”
Kurt Suzuki’s two-out single in the ninth off closer Brad Ziegler (1-4) capped Atlanta’s two-run rally at SunTrust Park. It was the Braves’ seventh walk-off win of the season.
“What an at-bat (for Suzuki), and that’s a tough pitcher to do that against,” Atlanta right fielder Jace Peterson said.
The Braves began the comeback when pinch hitter Matt Adams doubled. Pinch runner Nick Markakis scored the tying run when Ozzie Albies slapped a one-out double to right field.
After Ziegler intentionally walked Freddie Freeman and retired Lane Adams on a fielder’s choice, Suzuki singled just inside the third base bag to score Freeman.
“It’s just good to see guys keep fighting, keep battling,” Snitker said.
The loss was the fifth straight for the Marlins, who have dropped 10 of 11.
“We haven’t been playing that great the last few days, and to have a chance and not get the win makes it that much tougher,” Ziegler said. “We battled back after we were down pretty late in the game. The offense gave us a chance to win, and it’s frustrating to not be able to come through.”
The winning pitcher was Rex Brothers (3-3), who struck out the side in the top of the ninth inning.
The Marlins rallied against reliever Jose Ramirez in the eighth to take a 5-4 lead. Brian Anderson led off by reaching on an error, a ground ball that rolled through the legs of rookie second baseman Albies. Anderson scored when Ichiro Suzuki lobbed a two-out, pinch-hit single softly into left field.
It was the 26th pinch hit of the season for Suzuki, two short of the major league record set by John Vander Wal of the Colorado Rockies in 1995.
“That’s the one chance that I get,” Suzuki said. “The approach hasn’t changed. I do the same things I have been doing.”
The Marlins tied the game with a run in the seventh off reliever Sam Freeman, who allowed his first run since July 31, a span of 16 games. Freeman walked Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich, and Marcell Ozuna greeted Ramirez with an RBI single.
Ozuna led the Marlins with two hits and two RBIs, and Anderson had two hits and a walk.
Atlanta got two hits each from Ender Inciarte, Dansby Swanson, Peterson and Suzuki.
Miami starter Dan Straily allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits and two walks in five innings. He struck out three.
Atlanta’s Sean Newcomb pitched five innings and allowed three runs and seven hits and three walks. He struck out five.
The Marlins put three runs on the board in the first inning. Dee Gordon led off with a triple and scored on Yelich’s single. Ozuna followed with a run-scoring triple and scored on Anderson’s two-out single.
Atlanta cut the lead to 3-2 in the second inning when Rio Ruiz and Swanson singled, and both came around to score on Peterson’s opposite-field single to left.
The Braves took the lead by scoring twice in the fifth inning to go ahead 4-3. Inciarte tripled and scored on Albies’ sacrifice fly. Matt Kemp gave the Braves the lead with a solo homer — his 18th of the season.
The loss further damaged the chances for Miami (67-73) to make a push for the wild card. With Washington’s 4-3 win in Philadelphia on Thursday, Atlanta (62-77) was officially eliminated in the NL East.
“It’s definitely not for lack of effort, that’s for sure,” Straily said. “I’ve been watching this team play every single night. It’s not going our way now, and we’ve got to find a way to turn it around quick.”
NOTES: Miami 2B Dee Gordon led off the game with a triple to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. It ended Miami’s streak of 22 innings without an extra-base hit. ... Miami started Brian Anderson at third base, giving Derek Dietrich the night off. Anderson singled in his first at-bat and recorded his first major league RBI. ... Atlanta RF Nick Markakis was not in the starting lineup, replaced by Jace Peterson. ... Atlanta 3B Rio Ruiz had hit safely in all six games he has played since being added to the roster on Sept. 1. ... Miami 1B Justin Bour, on the disabled list since July 25 with a right oblique strain, could be activated as soon as Friday.