The Atlanta Braves bumped up their record to 7-1 Tuesday night when they beat the Miami Marlins by a 3-2 score. Evan Gattis and Justin Upton continued carrying the offense while Kris Medlen didn't allow an earned run.
Gattis, who is hitting cleanup in just the second week of his career with Freddie Freeman on the disabled list, belted a two-run homer in the top of the first off Marlins starter Wade LeBlanc.
Gattis' second career shot hit the structure that animates when the Marlins hit a home run in left-center.
The Braves' offense, which has largely sputtered, wasn't able to score again until the eighth inning when Andrelton Simmons started the inning with an infield single and advanced to second on a throwing error by A.J. Ramos. Simmons was able to trot home when Upton crushed a double off the center field wall.
"Any time you have a chance to add on, it's big because it kind of eliminates some stuff from the opponent," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "That was a big run that Justin drove in."
That run proved vital to keep the lead as Eric O'Flaherty gave up a run on a Placido Polanco single in the bottom of the eighth. He started the inning by walking Austin Kearns, and after two groundouts, O'Flaherty intentionally walked Giancarlo Stanton to get to Polanco.
Craig Kimbrel also walked his lead-off man in the ninth in Donovan Solano, but Ramiro Pena, who had entered as a defensive replacement for Juan Francisco, caught Rob Brantly's popped up bunt attempt and doubled off Solano. Kimbrel then fanned Adeiny Hechavarria to end the game.
Medlen continued the Braves' pitchers' performance with seven strong innings. The only run he gave up was the result of B.J. Upton dropping a Greg Dobbs flyball in center. Solano would move him over with an infield hit before Dobbs scored on a sac fly by Brantly.
Simmons also came up huge in the fourth with a runner on third and the infield in. Solano hit a hard grounder to Simmons' right, and he went full extension on a dive to save the run.
Medlen eventually settled into a rhythm and sat down the final 10 batters he faced. He needed only 24 pitches to get through his last three innings.
"Once I felt my delivery kick in, I just felt comfortable," Medlen said. I knew if I made the pitches I needed to make, I'd have quicker at-bats. The last three innings I threw, I had single-digit pitch counts each inning. That felt like the old me."
Mike Minor takes the hill Wednesday to finish off the three-game sweep of the Marlins.Tags: Andrelton Simmons, Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Evan Gattis, Justin Upton, Kris Medlen, Miami Marlins, MLB, Placido Polanco
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