The Braves pulled out a stressful 5-4 win on Monday night.
The lead in the NL East is now four games, and the magic number falls to three. If the Braves want to wrap up the division during this four-game series against the Marlins, they can do it by winning two of the next three.
Huascar Ynoa got the start for the Braves, going three innings and giving way to a bullpen that only allowed one run. Coming into this game, Ynoa and Marlins starter Trevor Rogers had combined for 44 2⁄3 innings at the big league level so it was natural to assume there might be some speedbumps. But after a 74-pitch first inning that saw seven runs cross the plate, this game was shaping up to be absolute chaos.
Ynoa allowed five straight runners to reach in the first, getting BABIP’d to death by some unfortunately-placed ground balls that saw the Marlins go up 3-0. The Braves clawed back into the game in the bottom half of the inning, relying on some clutch two-out hitting, capped off by a two-run double from Austin Riley, to jump out to a 4-3 lead.
Ynoa appeared to calm down after his erratic first inning, stringing together two straight 1-2-3 innings before being lifted for Tyler Matzek. Rogers settled in as well - at one point striking out six straight Braves - but not before Dansby Swanson and Ronald Acuña strung together consecutive doubles in the second inning to tack on another run, making the Braves’ lead 5-3.
Upon Matzek’s entry, Acuña found himself in a position to turn a spectacular play.
After a torrid offensive start for both teams, the offense came screeching to a halt. The Braves did not log a hit after the third inning, and the Marlins were quiet until the late innings. Shane Greene, coming off his worst outing in a Braves uniform on Saturday, allowed a run to score in the top of the eighth, bringing the Marlins to within a run, 5-4. After Will Smith walked pinch hitter Lewis Brinson to load the bases, Starling Marte hit an absolute rocket that looked like it would give the Marlins the lead, but was snagged by Austin Riley.
During the ninth inning, the Braves turned one of the most interesting double plays you will ever see, thanks to some amazing heads up defense from Dansby Swanson.
Brian Anderson flew out to end the game, sealing the win for Atlanta.
These two teams will go at it again tomorrow night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:10pm ET.