Miami, FL – After an emotional roller coaster that went into extras, the Miami Marlins dropped a heartbreaker Sunday afternoon, losing 7-6 to the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Park. Miami led by as many as four runs in the ninth inning. Pablo Lopez’s (4-5, 4.26 ERA) quality start and the defensive heroics from Starlin Castro were for naught due to Sergio Romo being unable to seal the deal, giving up a demoralizing three-run bomb to famed Marlin killer Ronald Acuña Jr.
— Paul Byrd (@PaulByrd36) June 9, 2019
The fish managed to rally in the tenth, tying the game six-all but it was not enough. The depleted bullpen was unable to hold on and the bats were turned away too often, extending the team’s losing streak to four and completing the disappointing sweep. It’s the second time this year the Braves swept Miami.
Austin Dean got the home team on the board early with a leadoff blast to right field, his second of the season. The Braves responded in the third inning with Matt Joyce and starting pitcher, Max Fried, hitting back-to-back doubles to tie the game. Atlanta came up just short of taking the lead after a close play at the plate.
Starlin Castro made a terrific heads up play on the fielder’s choice, throwing out Fried at home. He was in for a very busy day. The Braves challenged the call but after a two-minute review (Or delay) the call was upheld, much to the delight of fans and pups alike. Sidenote, it was Bark at the Park.
Miami broke the deadlock at the bottom of the fifth. Martin Prado led off the inning with a single followed by Miguel Rojas drawing a hard-earned walk, setting up starting catcher Bryan Holaday. Holaday went into clutch-mode with a stand up double right over the head of left-fielder Austin Riley. Then with two runners in scoring position, Dean laced an RBI-single to give Lopez and the Marlins a two-run lead through five.
The Braves threatened in a big way in the seventh.
Tayron Guerrero came in for relief, retiring both Ozzie Albies and Tyler Flowers. But Matt Joyce slapped a double to keep the inning alive. Pinch-Hitter, Nick Markakis drew a walk to move a runner into scoring position. Austin Brice then replaced Guerrero and ran into some problems as well, walking Ronald Acuna Jr to load the bases. Dansby Swanson hit a sharp liner up the middle but Castro saved the day with a diving catch to rob Atlanta of at least two runs, preserving the W for Lopez.
Dean added some insurance with an RBI single in the seventh, extending Miami’s lead to 4-1. After Brian Anderson got beaned in the shoulder to load the bases, Castro made the Braves pay with a slow roller, beating out both the throw and the tag to notch run number five.
Have yourself a day, @AustinDean_3!💥🔥
An RBI single gives the @Marlins some insurance, as they now lead 4-1!
— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) June 9, 2019
It would all be in vain.
Atlanta was all over a shaky Sergio Romo, who gave up a double to Tyler Flowers followed by a wild pitch, a walk and a balk (Flowers scored). The horrific sequence of events culminated in a three-run blast by Acuna Jr. to equalize.
The Braves broke through in the tenth with a bases-loaded, payoff pitch walk from Tyler Kinley. Kinley started off nice enough, retiring the first two hitters. Then he issued four straight hall passes. They came really close to blowing the game wide open with Acuna Jr. at the plate but he popped out to end the inning.
Just when you thought the Marlins were about to suffer a heartbreaking defeat, Prado smacked a game-tying, standup double through the gap in center-left, scoring Harold Ramirez to restore team morale and fire up the remaining fans. He was left stranded after Rojas and Holaday struck out, but not before they had some words with the ump.
With runners at the corners, the Braves broke through again, this time from Matt Joyce with an RBI single off Adam Conley to put Atlanta ahead for good.
With the loss, the Marlins are now 1-8 against the Braves this season, leaving the fans howling.
The Marlins were looking to end more than their three-game slide. The Fighting Fish also had a six-game losing streak against Atlanta. It’s now seven. Miami had been held to two runs or fewer in five straight games against the Braves, tying the longest such streak in series history. The Marlins have been swept for the 25th time by their NL East rivals in the all-time series. They were swept back in early May here at home too. Overall, it’s the seventh time the Fish have been swept this season.
Despite all of those painful numbers, the Marlins still have one of the best records in baseball since May 17. Since then, the Marlins were 13-8 (.619), tied with Colorado and Philadelphia for second-best in the National League heading into today’s game. They were tied for fifth in the Majors. The team has had a winning record in their last two homestands and road trips. Also, since that date, they’re 6-3 at Marlins Park and 8-5 in their last 13 road games.
The team will look to regroup in time for another home series against Marcel Ozuna and the St. Louis Cardinals. The series starts tomorrow night.
📸by: Victoria Alves