Although the Marlins found themselves with an early lead, the Braves eventually made a furious surge into the lead and eventually blew out the Marlins by the score of 12-2.
The first inning was a story of how there are so many different ways to end up with just one run in an inning. In the top of the first, the Braves loaded up the bases by coaxing three walks out of Braxton Garrett to start the game. The next three batters for Atlanta all recorded outs, and were pretty fortunate that Dansby Swanson’s groundout plated Ozzie Albies to put the Braves ahead early. That lead lasted all of one pitch in the bottom of the first, as Jazz Chisholm pulverized the first pitch he saw from Touki Toussaint and sent it flying a very long way. The Braves basically had to be extremely patient and fortunate just to get one run in the first, while the Marlins wasted no time undoing all of Atlanta’s work to begin the game.
Miami wasn’t done going deep in this one after Chisholm’s dinger. Touki was one strike away from getting out of the second inning in clean fashion and you had to like his chances against the light-hitting Isan Diaz. Instead, Diaz uncorked a moonshot of his own on a sinker that was right in the middle of the strike zone. Diaz’s fourth home run of the season made it 2-1 in favor of the Marlins and there were early signs that this was going to be yet another game in 2021 where Miami proved to be formidable opposition for the Braves.
Things changed in a major way in the fourth inning, which was the moment when the Braves cracked the game wide open. Braxton Garrett’s fifth-and-sixth walks of the game to lead off the fourth (including a walk for Touki Toussaint) were enough for Marlins manager Don Mattingly to go to his bullpen to help see his team out of this jam. Paul Campbell entered the game at this point and the Braves proceeded to tee off on him. Ozzie Albies hit a single to tie the game at two, then Freddie Freeman sent one soaring into the shrubbery beyond the right field fence to make it 5-2 Atlanta at that point.
Austin Riley kept it going by hitting a gapper for a double, then Dansby Swanson promptly plated Riley with a single to extend the lead to four runs. That brought Adam Duvall to the plate, who was facing his former employers for the first time since the trade that brought him back to Atlanta. Duvall already has a handful of homers in Braves-Marlins games in 2021 and tonight he hit his first home run in this season series as a member of the Braves. His two run shot actually did some literal damage to the ballpark and it also did some figurative damage to the scoreboard, capping off a big seven-run inning for the Braves.
Atlanta still wasn’t done scoring, as they scored two runs in both the sixth and the seventh innings. The two runs in the sixth came after Ozzie Albies hit one up the middle and off of a diving Jazz Chisholm’s glove for a two-run single. The next two runs came when Dansby Swanson got a rally started by hustling out an infield single with two outs after review. Adam Duvall walked after that, then Travis d’Arnaud smacked a double into center field to put another two runs on the board. Again, this all started because Dansby Swanson was still hustling hard with two outs while up by eight runs at the time. He’s playing some great baseball at the moment and that is proof that he’s not taking any plate appearances off, either.
While all of that was going on at the plate for the Braves, Touki Toussaint had actually settled into his start quite nicely. Touki eventually made it into the seventh inning, with those two home runs being the only major blemishes on what was another night for the young right-hander. He finished the night with seven strikeouts, three hits and two walks. Edgar Santana and Jacob Webb finished the job for the rest of the game, as both relievers threw scoreless stints this evening and held the Marlins at just those two runs. The Braves had a lot more, as the game ended 12-2 in favor of Atlanta.
Like a recording booth following the end of a verse from Big K.R.I.T., the Braves have suddenly caught fire. They’ve won 11 out of their last 13 games and have gone from being one game under .500 and two-and-a-half games behind the NL East leaders to being seven games over .500 and one-and-a-half games ahead as NL East leaders, themselves. It appears as if the Braves have righted the ship and with the schedule still looking very manageable going forward, Atlanta can potentially keep this going for the foreseeable future.