Wild pitches in 9th lead Marlins past Braves

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Wild pitches in 9th lead Marlins past Braves

Another quality start for Aaron Harang. Another no-decision.

The Braves right-hander worked seven innings but was not around at the end for a 3-2 Marlins victory Thursday night at Turner Field. Harang notched his 18th quality start, tied for second in the National League. The stat didn’t matter.

The Braves (55-47) dropped three of four in the series against the Marlins. They are 3-4 to start a season-long 11-game homestand.

The loss dropped the Braves 1-1/2 games behind the idle Nationals in the N.L. East.

The Marlins broke through for the winning run in the top of the ninth inning off Braves’ rock-solid closer Craig Kimbrel. Marcell Ozuna reached first on a wild-pitch on a third strike. He advanced to second on another wild pitch. Jarrod Saltalamacchia then delivered the game-winning single, his third hit of the game that followed two straight doubles.

Chris Johnson delivered a two-out, two-run homer in the second inning to start the scoring for the Braves. Johnson drilled the first pitch he saw from Marlins starter Henderson Alvarez over the left-field fence for his eighth homer of the year.

The Marlins evened the score with two runs in the fifth. Ozuna walked and Saltalamacchia doubled to open the inning and both would score. Adeiny Hechavarria drove in a run with a bloop single to right. Christian Yelich just beat out a near double-play grounder to second to push across a run.

Harang cruised through the first four innings, allowing just two hits. Over the next three, he allowed two runs and five hits. He was relieved by Jordan Walden in the eighth after 102 pitches with two walks and five strikeouts. He entered the game with an 0-1 record and 6.23 ERA in three previous starts against the Marlins this season.

Harang (9-6) threw six scoreless innings but didn’t figure in a 2-1 loss to the Phillies in his last outing on July 19.

Justin Upton had three hits for his ninth multi-hit game in his last 16. He has hit safely in 13 of 17 games and his 23-for-63 during the stretch following his eighth three-hit game of the season.

Henderson Alvarez (7-5) got the win for the Marlins, allowing two runs and six hits in eight innings.

The Braves open a four-game series against the Padres Friday.

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