Mark Buehrle was cruising Thursday, and although he held the slimmest of leads, things were looking good for the Marlins thanks to another strong performance from their new lefty.
Just like that, however, and it was gone.
With two outs in the sixth, Buehrle gave up a hot single that almost decapitated him before surrendering a home run to Martin Prado that just stayed fair to left.
Those runs — along with a pair of solo homers from Jason Heyward to center — were enough for the Braves as they won 8-2 to sweep the three-game series at Marlins Park. Michael Bourn’s three-run homer to right with two outs in the ninth just sealed the deal.
Atlanta held the Marlins to three runs over three games as Miami heads into interleague play in third place in the NL East — two games back of Washington and one behind second-place Atlanta.
Miami is 2-10 over its past 12 home games against Atlanta and former manager Fredi Gonzalez. The Marlins are 0-3 in their new digs against the Braves and 1-4 against them overall this season.
The Braves outscored the Marlins 21-3 in the series.
“They came in here and whupped our butts for three games,’’ Giancarlo Stanton said. “They are right with us as far as records go, and it’s not like we’re going to go downhill from here. This isn’t a problem.’’
Buehrle gave the Marlins a chance Thursday as he had given up just one hit before Bourn ripped one up the middle with two outs in the sixth. Bourn was the first baserunner Atlanta put on since the third inning, but he would be a big one when Prado’s shot landed in the Miami bullpen to make it 2-1.
Miami took its first lead of the series in the fifth when Jose Reyes bounced one off the fence in left off starter Mike Minor. Buehrle quickly got the final out of the sixth but didn’t return as Guillen sent Greg Dobbs in to pinch-hit with two outs and Donovan Solano at second after he had doubled with one out. Dobbs flied out to end the inning. Atlanta scored six runs once Buehrle left.
The Marlins got a home run to right from Stanton to lead off the eighth, but it wasn’t nearly enough. Atlanta scored two more once Buehrle left — Heyward hit a solo shot to center in the seventh, and Prado singled in a run in the eighth — for a 4-1 lead. Heyward led off the ninth with his second homer of the night.
Stanton’s home run, his 14th, was initially ruled a double as the ball just cleared the fence and ricocheted back onto the field. After review, Stanton was allowed to come home from second. Justin Ruggiano doubled to left to give Miami hope, but Logan Morrison (2 for 24 this month) popped out to third, Donnie Murphy struck out looking and Brett Hayes went down swinging.
“That’s a real good team,’’ Buehrle said. “The most frustrating thing is I made a good pitch Prado. It was 0-0 the whole time. Then we get a run. The last thing you want to do in that situation is give one back to them.’’
Although Minor struck out four during his five innings of work, Miami had opportunities to put up some much-needed runs against the Braves as the Marlins had runners on in four of those innings.
The Marlins had something going early with the bases loaded in the bottom of the first after Omar Infante singled with Hanley Ramirez and Ruggiano receiving free passes.
With two outs, however, Morrison struck out to end the inning and strand Miami’s first three runners of the night. The Marlins stranded nine overall.
In the second, Hayes ripped a double off the wall in front of the Marlins bullpen in left field but neither Buehrle nor Reyes could drive him home.
Ruggiano led off the fourth with a walk but was caught trying to steal second on a pickoff attempt by Minor. With two outs, Solano doubled to left and Hayes was intentionally walked. Buehrle, hitting just .067 in his first season in the National League after 12 years with the White Sox, popped out to right to end the threat.