The Braves fell behind 3-0 in the second inning Thursday night and went homerless for the seventh time in nine games against the Marlins this season. Not a problem.
Big triples from Freddie Freeman and Brandon Snyder and three doubles from catcher Tyler Flowers helped the Braves outscore the Marlins 7-1 after a 68-minute third-inning rain delay for an 8-4 win in a series opener at Turner Field.
It was just the third win in the past nine games for the Braves, but their seventh win in nine games against the Marlins this season. Going back to April 15, the Braves are 7-2 against Miami and 20-41 against everyone else, while the Marlins are 2-7 vs. the Braves and 36-27 against everyone else in that period.
“The way they came back was great,” interim manager Brian Snitker said after the Braves’ 15th come-from-behind win. “We had some good at-bats off a tough pitcher. I’ve been echoing that for a while now. Most of the time when we win it is coming from behind, when we’re down in the game and just kind of stay after it.”
The Braves have 13 homerless wins this season, second-most in the National League behind the Giants. Six have come against the Marlins.
No homers for the Braves, but there were fireworks: Flowers was ejected in the ninth inning for arguing balls and strikes with umpire Larry Vanover, after closer Arodys Vizcaino issued consecutive two-out walks and a first-pitch ball to Adeiny Hechavarria. Flowers was the second Braves player ejected in three days, following Jeff Francoeur on Tuesday.
“I felt like it was a blatant strike and there comes a point where you got to do something,” said Flowers, who thought Vanover’s strike zone was inconsistent throughout the game. “It’s better me than the pitcher getting ejected.”
Snitker ran out and got between the imposing Flowers and Vanover before the situation escalated any further.
“(Vanover) just said balls were missing,” Snitker said. “But if Tyler was that upset, I’ve got to feel like that ball was what Tyler said it was…. He’s as professional as they come.”
After Hechavarria hit an RBI double that chased the slumping Vizcaino from the game, 100-mph-throwing rookie Mauricio Cabrera came in to get the final out and collect his first save in his third appearance.
Vizcaino has issued 12 walks in 10 1/3 innings over his past 13 appearances, allowing 10 hits and seven runs (five earned) while going 0-3 in that span.
Snyder’s first major league triple was a two-run pinch-hit drive off the center-field wall in the sixth inning for a 5-3 lead. Eric Aybar singled one batter earlier to drive in the tying run, and Chase d’Arnaud would add another RBI single to cap a four-run inning.
The Braves hoped to get five or six innings from starter Mike Foltynewicz in his first game back from a one-month stint on the disabled list for bone spurs in his elbow. But after the rain delay, the Braves didn’t bring him back and risk aggravating the injury.
“I really wanted him to get out there and get his pitches, if nothing else for the next time out,” Snitker said. “Because he was throwing good. It looked like he got a little out of whack the one inning, but then came back and just would have liked to seen him stretched out a little more.”
Foltynewicz pitched three innings and was charged with two hits and three runs, all in the second inning and one run unearned after third baseman Adonis Garcia’s error on a grounder to start the inning. He walked the next batter, Giancarlo Stanton, and Justin Bour made him pay by hitting his 15th homer and third against the Braves.
“In that second inning once I got out of the stretch I couldn’t find a rhythm, for Stanton and Bour,” Foltynewicz said. “Just left him one over the middle of the plate and that’s what they’re paid to do.
“Felt good, no problems, just the usual soreness. Just really happy the bullpen picked me up great there for six innings. And the bats came alive after the third.”
Bour has eight homers and 20 RBIs in 14 games against the Braves since the beginning of September, and he gave the Marlins a 3-0 lead with one swing of the bat.
The Braves used five relievers including Tyrell Jenkins, who had been a leading candidate to start Saturday until he pitched 2 1/3 innings Thursday when he replaced Foltynewicz to start the fourth.
The Braves failed to convert a first-inning scoring opportunity against left-hander Wei-Yin Chen after getting a pair of singles from Jace Peterson, who extended his career-best hitting streak to 11 games, and Freeman.
Chen continued after the rain delay, and the Braves went to work on him in the third inning. Peterson again led off with a single, and this time Freeman’s RBI triple brought him around with the Braves’ first run. Two batters later, Markakis singled to cut the lead to 3-2.
It was Freeman’s fourth triple in a span of 83 at-bats over 22 games, half as many triples as he had previously in 2,920 at-bats over 807 games. He has 29 hits and 14 extra-base hits in his past 17 games, a stretch in which he’s batted .426.
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