Miami Marlins losing skid hits three games after another loss to the Atlanta Braves

·3 min read
Gaston De Cardenas/AP

The Miami Marlins’ downfall on Saturday began in the fourth inning. They had a runner on third base with one out against the Atlanta Braves, a prime chance to break open the scoreless deadlock.

Instead, a pair of poor decisions resulted in two outs on the basepaths on the same play.

The Braves took advantage from there, scoring in each of the next three innings to beat the Marlins 4-3 at loanDepot park for Miami’s third consecutive loss. The Marlins are 17-22, while the Braves improve to 19-21.

We’ll get to the scoring in a moment, but first... the fourth-inning baserunning.

Jesus Sanchez was on third base after hitting a triple to right field against Atlanta’s Kyle Wright. Bryan De La Cruz was at the plate with the Braves’ infield drawn in.

De La Cruz scorched a 1-0 sinker to the left side of the infield. Sanchez began running on contact, which was called by manager Don Mattingly.

“That’s my decision,” Mattingly said postgame. “We’re going on contact there. We’re gonna try to score there. We’re at that part of the order and we’re gonna take a chance there.”

The problem? The ball went straight to shortstop Dansby Swanson, who fired a throw to catcher William Contreras and forced Sanchez into a rundown where he was eventually tagged out by third baseman Austin Riley.

That’s one out.

But De La Cruz was caught too far away from first base toward the end of the Sanchez rundown and ended up having to break for second base when Riley threw to first baseman Matt Olson. Olsen then threw to second baseman Ozzie Albies to complete the five-man, four-throw double play and end the inning.

“They did a nice job,” Mattingly said. “We got caught too far.”

Contreras then hit a solo home run off Elieser Hernandez in the fifth to give the Braves a lead they would not relinquish. Atlanta added two more runs in the sixth on RBI singles from Marcell Ozuna and Adam Duvall — Ozuna’s off Tanner Scott, Duvall’s off Dylan Floro — before Contreras hit his second home run of the game in the seventh against Cody Poteet.

The Marlins scored their only runs on a Jorge Soler RBI double that scored Garrett Cooper from first base in the sixth and a Brian Anderson fielder’s choice that scored Cooper from third base in the eighth. Miami had the winning run on the basepaths with two outs in the ninth after Jacob Stallings walked, Jazz Chisholm Jr. recorded an infield hit and Cooper hit an RBI double but Soler struck out swinging to end the game.

Hernandez allowed just the one run on three hits and a walk while striking out five over five innings.

Shortstop Miguel Rojas was removed from the game in the seventh inning with left calf tightness. Erik Gonzalez replaced him. Rojas said he has been dealing with the injury since the May 11 game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, when he was removed mid-game due to dehydration.

Chisholm sustained a left leg injury on Albies’ stolen-base attempt in the eighth inning. The Marlins’ second baseman is set to undergo testing and more clarity on the injury should be known Sunday.