Braves 4, Marlins 3

Miami Marlins fall to Atlanta Braves amid trade speculation

 

With a plethora of teams scouting the Marlins for trades of their key players, Florida fell to Atlanta.

mnavarro@MiamiHerald.com

Ozzie Guillen urged fans Tuesday to “blame the people wearing the uniforms” not “the people wearing ties and sport coats” for the mess the Marlins have been this season.

Well, a day after shipping Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez off to Detroit, the front office went back into restructure mode, discussing potential trades for just about everyone but Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Reyes.

The team, meanwhile, slipped back into disappointment mode, falling to the Atlanta Braves 4-3 in front of 25,616 at Marlins Park on Tuesday night.

The next move could be waving goodbye to former All-Stars and team centerpieces Josh Johnson and Hanley Ramirez, who continue to receive interest — along with others — from clubs in contention.

“When things are not going good and you more have more things off the field, it’s not good,” said Ramirez, who struck out looking to end the game.

In all, there were roughly 25 scouts in attendance to watch the Marlins on Tuesday. The Oakland Athletics — looking for a third baseman and offense — had two there to keep a close eye on Ramirez, who played for the first time since a right hand infection shelved him on Friday.

The National League’s 2009 batting champion had a two-out RBI single in the first but also made an error — his ninth of the season — that led to the Braves’ first run.

Atlanta (53-44) eventually fell behind 3-1 when Jose Reyes belted his sixth home run of the season, a 365-foot blast down the right-field line that just stayed inside the foul pole. Reyes, who also had a bunt single in the first, has now hit safely in 12 consecutive games.

But his second-inning home run was the only offense the Marlins (45-52) produced off Braves starter Tim Hudson, who went into shutdown mode after that.

The Braves retired 18 hitters in a row before Austin Kearns delivered a two-out, pinch-hit single to left off reliever Eric O’Flaherty in the eighth inning.

Mark Buehrle, who was looking for his 10th win of the season, which would give him 12 consecutive seasons with 10 or more wins, was unusually wild.

He walked four and gave up five hits, three runs (two earned) with four strikeouts. Before Tuesday, Buehrle hadn’t walked more than two in any of his first 19 starts for the Marlins.

“The last two starts haven’t been too good,” said Buehrle, who lasted just five innings in a loss to the Cubs in his previous start. “I had to battle just to get five innings. Walking four guys is not me. Bases-loaded walk to bring in a run is embarrassing. Just one of those days where I’m not getting ahead in the strike zone.”

After walking in a run with the bases loaded and two outs in the third, Buehrle relinquished a 3-2 lead in the fourth on Martin Prado’s sacrifice fly to center.

The Braves finally took the lead in the seventh when Prado opened with a leadoff triple to right off Wade LeBlanc and scored on Jason Heyward’s single to center.

LeBlanc, scheduled to pitch in Sanchez’s departed slot Saturday against his the Padres, threw 31 pitches, 17 for strikes.

Hudson (9-4, 3.71 ERA) improved to 13-4 with a 2.81 ERA in 24 career starts against the Marlins. That’s the best ERA among active pitchers with at least 140 innings pitched against the Marlins all time. His 13 wins against the Marlins ranks second only to Livan Hernandez.

Craig Kimbrel picked up his NL-leading 29th save in 30 opportunities by tossing a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

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