Early struggles on the mound from Brandon Beachy and a rough performance late from Eric O'Flaherty were too much for the Braves to recover from as Atlanta fell to the Marlins 6-5 Thursday night, dropping their third straight series.
Things were rough from the start for Beachy, as Chris Coghlan led off the game with a single. After coaxing a fly ball out from Omar Infante, Beachy then walked Hanley Ramirez. Mike Stanton and Logan Morrison then followed with back to back doubles, driving in three runs combined to give the Marlins an early 3-0 lead.
The Braves responded strongly in the bottom of the first inning off of Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco, as Martin Prado singled to begin the inning for Atlanta. Nate McLouth followed with a single of his own, moving Prado to third in the process. Chipper Jones lined a single to right field as Prado scored to cut the defecit to 3-1.
Brian McCann then stepped up to the plate and launched a homer into the right field seats for his second of the year, a three-run blast that gave Atlanta a short lived 4-3 lead. McCann now has two extra-base hits on the year, both are homers.
Beachy couldn't hold the lead he was given, as he immediately walked catcher John Buck to begin the second inning. Ricky Nolasco sacrificed Buck over to second, where he was then driven in by a Hanley Ramirez single to center a couple of batters later to tie the game at 4.
The Marlins weren't quite done hitting Beachy, as first baseman Gaby Sanchez crushed a one out homer to left field in the third inning to give the Marlins back the lead at 5-4.
On a good note, it looked like Dan Uggla ate his spinach today as he took a Ricky Nolasco hanging curve and obliterated it into the left field seats, notching his third home run of the young season to tie the game at 5. Unfortunately, that would be the end of the offense for Atlanta.
Brandon Beachy left after 5 1/3 innings, having given up seven hits and five runs, all earned, while striking out eight and walking four, earning a no decision. The loss was tagged on Eric O'Flaherty, as he came into pitch the seventh inning, and quickly got into trouble. Singles by Gaby Sanchez and Wes Helms to begin the inning came back to bite O'Flaherty, as John Buck followed with a single of his own up the middle, scoring Sanchez, giving the Marlins a 6-5 lead they would never relinquish.
Leo Nunez pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn the save for Florida, his fourth of the year. The win went to Marlins reliever Brian Sanches, who pitched a scoreless sixth inning in relief of Nolasco, who pitched five innings, giving up six hits, five runs (all earned), while striking out four and walking one, also earning a no decision.
The Braves are back in action tomorrow at 7:30 ET, as Atlanta welcomes the New York Mets to Turner Field.
WP: Brian Sanches (2-0)
1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K.
LP: Eric O'Flaherty (0-1)
0.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K.
Things to note:
The Braves did get some good pitching from relievers not named O'Flaherty; as Peter Moylan, Scott Linebrink, Jonny Venters, and Craig Kimbrel combined for seven strikeouts and only three hits in 3.1 innings.
First baseman Freddie Freeman extended his hitting streak to seven games.
Fredi Gonzalez strangely replaced Jason Heyward with Matt Young in a double switch in the ninth inning, a move that shockingly didn't pay off as Young narrowly avoided grounding into a double play to end the game.