ATLANTA (CBSMiami/AP) – For the most part it was a forgettable first six games for the Miami Marlins.READ MORE: Miami-Dade Police Department Honors Fallen Law Enforcement Officers
Miami opened the season as a possible dark horse to make the playoffs, while most labeled 2015 as a rebuilding season for the Atlanta Braves.
One week in, those prognostications appear slightly off.
The Braves, who opened the season with a sweep in Miami, look to bounce back from their first loss and again feast on Mat Latos’ pitching in Monday night’s opener against the scuffling Marlins.
A supposed afterthought in the NL East after trading away Craig Kimbrel, Jason Heyward, Evan Gattis and the Upton brothers, Atlanta opened with five consecutive wins for the first time since going 7-0 in 1994 before Sunday’s 4-3 loss to the New York Mets.
“Six games in and we get our first loss on an 0-2 sac fly,” left fielder Jonny Gomes told MLB’s official website. “162-0, I don’t think we were banking on that.”
The top four hitters in the order went 1 for 16 without a walk Sunday but the Braves probably feel confident in bouncing back given the way they knocked around Latos last week.
Latos (0-1, 94.50 ERA) faced 10 batters and got two outs, permitting six hits – three for extra bases – and two walks in Tuesday’s 12-2 loss. He gave up seven runs and didn’t strike anyone out for the first time in 154 career starts.
“There’s no excuse for putting my team in a seven-run hole and embarrassing myself, throwing the ball down the middle of the plate,” he said. “It’s the worst start I’ve had in six years. It’s ridiculous putting my team through that.”READ MORE: Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Warns Company Could Take Ships Out Of Florida Over Vaccine Proof Ban
Freddie Freeman hit his fourth double off the right-hander to raise his batting average to .625 (10 for 16) in their matchups, with six hits in his last seven at-bats. Chris Johnson also doubled and is 9 for 21 (.429) against him.
Latos’ dud was just one of many disappointments for the Marlins in their opening week.
After experiencing a rain delay despite having a retractable roof in their opener, Miami (1-5) has looked nothing like a team with a chance to compete after making upgrades to its infield and starting rotation.
“It could have been worse,” catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said after Sunday’s 8-5 loss to Tampa Bay. “We could have been 0-6.”
Giancarlo Stanton is 3 for 19 with seven strikeouts and Adeiny Hechavarria is 1 for 22. The Marlins became the last team in the majors to hit a home run when Saltalamacchia connected in the ninth inning Sunday.
“We haven’t played well really all week,” manager Mike Redmond said. “We’ve got to dig deep right now and see what we’re made of.”
The Marlins have plated two or fewer runs four times and were held to three in the Braves series.
Scheduled Monday starter Shelby Miller allowed four singles and two walks in five innings without getting a decision in Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Miami, lowering his April ERA to 2.44 in 12 starts. The right-hander struck out Stanton twice while walking him in their other matchup.
Marcell Ozuna was 0 for 2 against Miller and it’s uncertain if he’ll be back in the lineup after being scratched Sunday for being late to batting practice.MORE NEWS: Federal Appeals Court Orders New Trial For Former US Rep. Corrine Brown
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