Braves 5, Marlins 4 (11)

Marlins rally, then fall to Braves in 11th

 

cspencer@MiamiHerald.com

Jacob Turner hit a batter with a pitch, issued four walks, surrendered a home run and was charged with three fielding errors, which tied a 20-year-old Marlins record.

And that wasn’t the end of it.

After somehow emerging from Turner’s monstrosity to claim a 4-3 lead, the Marlins ended up losing 5-4 in 11 innings when the Braves struck back late against the Marlins bullpen.

B.J. Upton, who brought a .186 average into the game, had four hits, including a home run and a walk-off RBI single in the 11th off Ryan Webb as the misery continued for the Marlins.

That’s the way it has been going for the Marlins, who have lost six in a row and 10 of their past 11 games.

Despite home runs from Giancarlo Stanton and Justin Ruggiano, the Marlins were still unable to end the slide, which has pushed them further into the abyss in the National League East — a whopping 33 1/2 games behind the Braves.

As bad as the Marlins were early in the season, they’re regressing once more, going 6-20 since Aug. 3. They must now play .500 baseball or better over the final 28 games to avoid the second 100-loss season in franchise history.

It was a nightmare of a night for Turner, beginning with the very first batter he faced. Jordan Schafer grounded to Logan Morrison at first, but Turner dropped the throw while covering for his first error. Schafer ended up scoring.

In the fifth inning, Turner was charged with two errors on the same play. The pitcher bobbled Schafer’s bunt for one error and compounded the mistake by throwing wildly past first for another. The Braves didn’t score that inning. The only other Marlin to commit three errors in one game was third baseman Gary Sheffield on Sept. 30, 1993.

The last major-league pitcher to be charged with three was the Texas Rangers’ Kameron Loe in 2005.

For all of Turner’s troubles, both on the mound and in the field, the Marlins still had a 3-2 lead going into the sixth behind Ruggiano’s two-run homer in the first and Stanton’s solo shot in the fourth off Mike Minor.

And after B.J. Upton’s two-run homer off Turner in the sixth tied the score, the Marlins forged back in front in the seventh on Logan Morrison’s RBI single.

But the Braves pounced on the Marlins bullpen with two outs in the seventh. Chris Johnson landed a double near the line in right and scored on a Brian McCann single.

The Marlins made some small progress Saturday when Stanton scored on Ruggiano’s home run in the first after drawing a two-out walk.

The previous 38 Marlins to reach base via a walk had all failed to score.

Pitching at home

It is all but certain Jose Fernandez will make two more starts — both at home — before being shut down for the rest of the season.

Manager Mike Redmond said the rookie would be pushed back by a couple of days and make his next start on Friday at Marlins Park against the Nationals.

He would likely make his final start in the Atlanta series that follows.

The Marlins have set a cap of 170 innings for the 21-year-old rookie. With Friday’s outing, a 2-1 loss to the Braves, he is now at 158 2/3 innings.

Redmond said the 170-inning cap is “firm” and Fernandez would not be permitted to pitch more than that.

So if he goes six innings in Friday’s start versus the Nationals, he would have 5 1/3 innings with which to work.

“At 170, he’s going to turn into a pinch-hitter,” Redmond said.

Roster moves

Sunday is the first day of September, which means teams can expand their rosters.

The first addition for the Marlins will be Chris Coghlan, who has been on a minor-league rehab assignment and will join the team Sunday in Atlanta.

Redmond said a couple of more minor-leaguers would be called up Monday when the Marlins open a series in Chicago, and a few more would be added later. One of the call-ups will be a starting pitcher, with Brad Hand being the most likely candidate, who will take the mound Wednesday at Wrigley Field.

Coming up

•  Sunday: Marlins RHP Nathan Eovaldi (2-5, 3.76 ERA) at Atlanta Braves LHP Alex Wood (3-2, 2.27), 5:05 p.m., Turner Field.

•  Scouting report: Though he has limited the opposition to two runs or fewer in six of his eight starts since the All-Star break, Eovaldi has gone 0-5. His last win came on July 12.

Read more Miami Marlins stories from the Miami Herald

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