Braves shut out, lose game, series, season series to Marlins

The Braves were shut out again Sunday and lost the series and the season series against the Marlins (video by David O'Brien)

MIAMI – The Braves ventured out on this latest three-city trip talking about a need to at least win every series and hopefully sweep one or two to boost their postseason chances.

So much for that notion.

Julio Teheran ran into a wall in the fifth inning and the Braves lost 4-0 to Miami in a series finale at Marlins Park, their second loss in three games to start a crucial nine-game trip that continues Monday in Washington against the National League East-leading Nationals.

The Braves went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position, were shut out for the fourth time in eight games, and fell to seven games behind the Nationals in the division with only 19 games lefty to play. They also slipped to a half-game behind the Pirates for the second and final NL wild-card spot.

They are 9-4 against the Nationals, but the Braves finished with a 9-10 record in their season series against Miami. The Marlins, after losing 100 games in 2013, are 69-72 and only four games behind the Braves in the division and wild-card standings.

Teheran (13-11) was charged with eight hits and four runs in 5 1/3 innings, after posting a 1.80 ERA while not allowing more than two earned runs in his previous four starts. But he’s lost consecutive starts in shutout defeats, including a 7-0 loss to the Phillies on Sept. 1 when his five runs allowed in 6 2/3 innings included three unearned runs.

Marlins left-hander Brad Hand (3-6) became the latest undistinguished pitcher to hold the Braves in check, allowing five hits and no walks in six innings to snap his four-game losing streak.

The Braves have been shut out five times during a 6-8 stretch in which they’ve hit .216 and totaled 34 runs in 14 games. They’ve been shut out 13 times, tied for most in the NL, including four times by the Marlins.

Teheran recorded 14 outs in his first 14 batters faced Sunday, and retired 13 in a row in a scoreless game before Garrett Jones’ two-out double in the fifth inning. Jarrod Saltalamacchia followed with an RBI single, which was one more hit than the Braves got all day with runners in scoring position (0-for-7).

Teheran gave up a third consecutive two-out hit to put runners on the corners before getting Hand to line out to left field to end the inning and limit the damage to a run. But damage control took a hiatus in the fifth inning, when Teheran gave up four hits to five batters before he was removed from the game with the Braves trailing 3-0.

Donovano Solano singled in a run and Marcello Ozuna an RBI double to chase Teheran from the game. After reliever Luis Avilan intentionally walked Jeff Baker to load the bases, Saltalamacchia’s sacrifice fly pushed the lead to 4-0.

The Braves had a runner in scoring position with none out in the fifth inning after Chris Johnson singled and stole second base. The next three batters: Andrelton Simmons line-out to shotstop, Emilio Bonifacio fly out to right field, Teheran ground out to the pitcher.

Things got worse in the sixth inning when they did something they’ve done far too frequently this season: Failed to score after putting two runners in scoring position with none out. After Jason Heyward’s leadoff single and Phil Gosselin’s double put Braves at second and third, the next three batters went like this: Freddie Freeman ground out, Justin Upton strike out, Evan Gattis line out to left field.

Inning over. And when the Marlins scored three in the bottom of the inning to push the lead to 4-0, game over.