Marlins Break Braves’ Winning Streak
ATLANTA (AP) – Evan Gattis blames himself for not getting his catcher’s mitt lower and keeping Adeiny Hechavarria from scoring on a wild pitch.
Had he done so, the Atlanta Braves might still have a long winning streak, but Gattis says the team’s goal now is to win the three-game series.
“Yeah, man, we had a good run,” Gattis said. “I hate that it ended.”
The Braves’ 14-game winning streak ended Saturday night with a 1-0 loss to the last-place Miami Marlins, who scored on reliever Jordan Walden’s wild pitch in the ninth inning.
Miami stopped its own six-game skid.
The Braves fell one victory shy of tying the 2000 team for the franchise’s longest winning streak since the 1891 Boston Beaneaters won 18 straight.
Hechavarria led off the Miami ninth with a triple and scored on the wild pitch by Walden (4-2).
“I’m more disappointed in not blocking it,” Gattis said. “I didn’t see the replay, but I’m pretty sure I just came up on it. I think it went through me. I just came up on it a little bit with my mitt.”
Marlins starter Nate Eovaldi allowed one hit in seven innings. Mike Dunn (3-3) got the win and Steve Cishek earned his 24th save, striking out Paul Janish with a runner on first to end it.
Both teams finished with just three hits.
Hechavarria’s NL-leading sixth triple bounced against the bottom of the wall in left-center field and was the game’s only extra-base hit. He scored standing up – ending the Marlins’ 22-inning scoreless string – when Walden’s fourth pitch to the next batter, Ed Lucas, got past Gattis.
Cishek posted his 19th straight save. He got Justin Upton to line out and Freddie Freeman to ground out before Gattis singled. Janish took a called third strike.
Chad Qualls recorded one out in the Atlanta eighth before Andrelton Simmons reached on an infield hit. Dunn struck out pinch-hitter Brian McCann and retired Jason Heyward on a groundout.
Eovaldi allowed a first-inning single by Freeman and retired his final 14 batters. He walked three and struck out eight.
“They’re a great team,” Eovaldi said. “I threw the ball really well tonight, It was just a great win all around.”
Braves rookie starter Alex Wood had retired 12 straight batters before Jeff Mathis singled with two outs in the fifth. Wood gave up two hits, struck out seven and walked one in six innings.
Relievers David Carpenter and Luis Avilan combined to allow no baserunners and strike out three over the next two innings.
Eovaldi received no run support for his fifth straight start. The Marlins haven’t scored while Eovaldi has been in a game since his 8-3 victory over Washington on July 12. He has a 1.04 ERA in his last four starts.
“He’s always had a good arm to me,” Heyward said after going 0 for 3. “Attacks the strike zone, has a lot of movement on his pitches, especially the fastball. Sometimes it’s a little bit wild and effective as far as which side of the plate.”
Braves third baseman Chris Johnson, who leads the NL with a .338 batting average, was ejected by plate umpire Jim Joyce to end the first after taking three pitches – all fastballs – for strikes with runners on first and second.
Johnson yelled at Joyce and threw his bat and helmet before walking to the dugout. After a 54-minute rain delay, Janish replaced Johnson.
Johnson was upset with himself for not being in the batter’s box with two out in the ninth.
“Yeah, I’m one of those guys that wants to be in the game the whole time and wants to be in that spot,” he said. “So, yeah, I’m definitely kicking myself a little bit.”
Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton didn’t play. Manager Mike Redmond said he gave his star the night off because “it seems like he’s just really grinding and not having a whole lot of fun out there.”
The Marlins have the NL’s worst winning percentage and they’re last in the majors in homers, RBIs and slugging percentage.
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