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Braves blank Marlins in breezy series opener

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That was fun.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Miami Marlins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

After a stretch featuring several closely contested outcomes, the Atlanta Braves did not experience a nail-biter on Thursday evening. Fortunately for the road team, the lack of drama proved to be a good thing, as the Braves blanked the Miami Marlins by a final score of 5-0 to claim the team’s fourth consecutive victory.

The fireworks began in the second inning when Charlie Culberson, starting at shortstop in place of Dansby Swanson, blasted a two-run home run to give Atlanta the lead. From there, the Braves simply chipped away in providing insurance.

Ronald Acuña then hammered a solo home run in the top of the third inning to give the Braves a three-run cushion and the fifth inning would then give Atlanta even more breathing room. Ender Inciarte hit his first home run off a left-hander pitcher in 2018 and, shortly thereafter, Johan Camargo doubled to plate Freddie Freeman and bring the margin to its final outcome.

On the mound, it was also a very enjoyable evening for Brian Snitker’s team. Sean Newcomb cruised through six innings of scoreless baseball, striking out eight batters while allowing only five base-runners along the way. He then gave way to the duo of Luke Jackson and Jesse Biddle, who combined to strike out five batters in three inning to preserve the comfortable win.

There was at least one general hiccup in an otherwise drama-free environment, as Acuña was (again) struck with a pitch. This time, he was able to stay in the game but, after Newcomb hit a member of the Marlins later in the game, warnings were issued and nothing got out of control. Still, it was all too familiar to see Acuña hit by a flying baseball with the Marlins in the opposing dugout and, simply put, that wasn’t ideal.

Four members of the Braves lineup generated multiple hits, led by three from the bat of Camargo. In addition to home runs from Inciarte and Culberson, Nick Markakis stroked a single and a double and, in general, the offense did enough to provide an enjoyable experience.

In short, it was a breezy night at the ballpark and the Braves will look to continue their general dominance over the Marlins on Friday evening when Anibal Sanchez takes the hill. Stay tuned.