If there is one team that has given Anibal Sanchez fits throughout his career, it has been the Atlanta Braves.
Those struggles didn’t come to an end Tuesday. They only got worse.
Led by Marlins all-time home run leader Dan Uggla and veteran Fish killer Tim Hudson on the mound, the Braves pounded Miami 11-0 in front of 25,432 at Marlins Park — a victory that made the home-team’s stay in first place rather brief.
Uggla, who still leads the Marlins with 154 career home runs, went yard twice and drove in five runs for the Braves. His first home run was a 393-foot solo blast that that landed just above The Clevelander in the fourth inning. His second long ball — and 200th of his career — was a 432-foot, two-run shot to center field off reliever Chad Gaudin that clanked off the large home run sculpture in the ninth.
“They came back in and told me I hit the sun,” Uggla said. “That’s really cool. This is where I started my career and to get my 200th homer here is awesome. Here or Atlanta, it would have been great either way.”
The loss, the sixth time the Marlins (31-24) have been shut out this season, was the worst of the season.
How bad was it? The loudest cheers of the night came in the middle of the eighth inning when first-quarter highlights of the Eastern Conference finals and the return of Heat forward Chris Bosh were flashed on the large screen in center field.
“Uggla was freaking Superman [Tuesday night],” said Hudson, who tossed his 13th career shutout and improved to 12-4 with a career ERA of 2.76 against the Marlins in 23 career starts.
“It was a fun game. The guys came out and put together some great at-bats and made some great plays behind me. I wasn’t feeling particularly great, but they were hitting them right at our guys. It’s nice to have some luck for a change.”
Hudson’s 13th career shutout featured just five hits for the Marlins, who had just one runner reach second base before the ninth.
Hudson finished with three walks and three strikeouts on 108 pitches, 65 of them strikes.
Although Sanchez went 6 2/3 innings, he gave up a season-high in both earned runs (seven) and hits (nine) against the Braves, who have now beaten him in seven consecutive starts dating to July 3, 2010.
In his career, no team has beaten up Sanchez more than Atlanta. His 11 losses against the Braves are three more than any other team he has faced (the Phillies are second with eight). And his 5.41 ERA is second only to the Cubs (5.66) against National League teams.
The Braves (30-25) held a 1-0 lead until getting to Sanchez with two outs in the fourth. After Uggla’s home run to left, Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward and Adrelton Simmons all followed with singles to make it 3-0.
It remained that way until the Braves batted around and erupted for four runs in the seventh — the last two on Uggla’s two-out, two-run single to left off reliever Dan Jennings.
Those runs, however, were credited to Sanchez, who before Tuesday had given up more than three earned runs just one other time this season — when he surrendered five to the Giants on May 24.
“The good thing is I’m healthy,” Sanchez said. “The rest of the story? Everybody knows what happened. I stayed behind in the count. The umpire missed a couple pitches. What else can you do?”
Afterward, Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen was ready to turn the page quickly.
“Anibal has pitched well for us all year. [Tuesday night], he wasn’t there,” Guillen said. “Breaking ball was off. Location every pitch was high. And he paid the price.
“Games like that you just turn the page and be ready for [Wednesday].”