“It was good to do that, especially against a very talented pitcher,” Harris said. “Just staying within myself and not trying to do too much. I’m glad I got it out of the way.”
Snitker’s pregame excitement about Harris’ fit in the outfield also proved well-founded. Manning center field for his hometown team, the Stockbridge alumnus drew cheers after catching a second-inning lineout from Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas and cleanly fielded a couple of other balls that Miami sent his way.
“There was a ball in the gap, I can’t remember who hit it, and I was like, ‘go get it, Mike!’” starter Tucker Davidson said. “He’s an incredible talent, he’s so fast and such a great athlete.”
3. Ronald Acuña returned to the starting lineup after his pinch-hitting heroics in Friday’s 6-4 Braves win, slotting in as the designated hitter and in the leadoff spot. Though recent struggles with a right quad strain did not appear to hamper Acuña, a sequence in the bottom of the third inning gave reason for concern.
Alcántara drilled Acuña with a 98.9-mph sinker. After briefly approaching the pitching mound on his way to first base, Acuña paused next to first base and received attention from the Braves’ staff and Snitker. He stayed in the game, but Alcántara picked him off at first to end the inning. Acuña finished the game 1-for-3 with a stolen base and two strikeouts.
4. Davidson impressed in his third start of the season, opening his afternoon with four hitless innings and surrendering only one earned run and three hits in five innings to keep the Braves in contention. The outing was a massive improvement on his last start, in which the Phillies scored five runs in his 2 2/3 innings. Davidson said his goal was to go five or six innings and credited an aggressive mentality in being able to stretch later into the game.
“He gave us a chance,” Snitker said. “He worked himself out of some jams and he created and kept the game manageable. We needed to keep it right there probably at a run facing Alcántara.”
5. Shortstop Dansby Swanson continued his torrid stretch of hitting and was the only Brave with multiple hits on Saturday afternoon. Swanson drove in Harris from third base on RBI groundout, then kept the Braves’ hopes alive in the ninth inning with a two-out double against Marlins reliever Cole Sulser. Left-fielder Marcell Ozuna’s walk brought third baseman Austin Riley, who could’ve been the game-tying run, to the plate, but Riley struck out to end the game.
Swanson has the longest hitting streak in the Braves’ lineup, after Ozuna’s 12-game streak ended Friday night in an 0-for-4 performance.
Stat to Know
7: The Marlins have hit Ronald Acuña with a pitch more than any team in the majors.
“It’s always difficult. His stuff is so good that I don’t even know about familiarity with him. Honestly, you hope maybe you can grind some at-bats, get his pitch count up and get the bullpen up.” - Brian Snitker on facing Sandy Alcántara
The Braves will have another opportunity to seal a series win against the Marlins Sunday at 1:35 p.m. Max Fried (4-2, 3.27 ERA) will take the mound and will be matched against Miami right-hander Elieser Hernandez (2-4, 5.59 ERA).