Miami Marlins

Marlins lose to the Braves again despite overcoming large early deficit

Don Mattingly talks about Marlins 12-7 loss to the Braves

Marlins manager Don Mattingly discusses his team's 12-7 defeat against the Atlanta Braves on Sept. 12, 2016
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Marlins manager Don Mattingly discusses his team's 12-7 defeat against the Atlanta Braves on Sept. 12, 2016

The Marlins pulled off their largest comeback of the season.

But they still couldn’t beat the last-place Braves.

Despite overcoming an early seven-run deficit, Miami couldn’t hold Atlanta’s bats down for long and suffered yet another costly defeat, 12-7, at Turner Field.

“We had a mission today and it seems to me that the mindset is to battle all the way through,” Marlins third baseman Martin Prado said. “I feel like we hit a lot of balls right at people and had great at-bats. Unfortunately, [the Braves] did too.”

The Marlins (71-73) lost to the team with the worst record in the National League for the ninth time in 13 games this season and couldn’t take advantage of an opportunity to improve their slim playoff hopes with the Mets (76-68) and Cardinals (75-68) both losing Monday night.

The Marlins remain five games behind the Mets and 4½ games behind the Cardinals in the race for the final Wild Card berth.

“It’s obviously a difficult one to swallow,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “We come back and tie and have shots to go ahead. It kind of felt like those NBA games where teams are down 20-25 points and come all the way back but run out of gas.”

Andrew Cashner was charged with all seven of the Braves early runs and did not survive the third inning in his worst start as a Marlins pitcher.

Cashner did not take the loss since the Marlins tied the game in the sixth inning, but his ERA in 39 2/3 innings pitched with the team ballooned to 6.13.

The seven runs came on six hits as Cashner also walked two and did not have a strikeout.

Cashner did not attribute his poor outing to anything related to the blister issue that forced him to miss a start in late August.

“I didn’t really locate at all tonight,” Cashner said. “With this team still in the hunt, I definitely need to pitch better. This was probably my worst outing of the season. The offense did a nice job picking us up, but we just couldn’t find a way.”

Cashner exited the game in the third with the Braves (56-88) leading 4-0 and the bases loaded with no outs. Nick Wittgren allowed the three inherited runners to score on a single by Tyler Flowers and a sacrifice fly ball by Dansby Swanson.

Nick Markakis continued to hurt Marlins’ pitching, crushing an early solo home run and delivering the key two-out double in the sixth that put the Braves ahead for good after the Marlins’ comeback.

Markakis, who went 2 for 3 and has hit .340 against the Marlins this season, crushed a fastball from reliever Brian Ellington to the right-center field gap to score Freddie Freeman.

The Braves added another run off Ellington in the seventh on a single by pinch hitter Anthony Recker, and three more runs off Fernando Rodney in the eighth.

“[Markakis] has been a tough for us, but also for everybody in his career,” Mattingly said.

The Marlins got their rally going in the top of the fourth scoring five runs on six hits.

The inning began with Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz hitting Marcell Ozuna on the side of his left knee.

After being looked at by team trainers, Ozuna remained in the game and took his base. He later came around to score the first run of the inning on a fielder’s choice ground ball by J.T. Realmuto.

The Marlins batted around, plating four more runs on singles by Derek Dietrich, Ichiro Suzuki, Prado and Christian Yelich.

And then Ozuna hit Foltynewicz with a 110-mph line drive that knocked him out of the game with a bruised left calf, and loaded the bases with two outs. Justin Bour, however, flied out against reliever Ryan Weber to end the inning.

Ozuna exited the game for precautionary reasons at that point with what was termed a bruised left knee. Foltynewicz was diagnosed with a bruised left calf muscle.

Ozuna missed a week’s worth of games at the start of September with a sore left wrist.

“I think he’s OK, but we just knew that [his knee] was going to get stiffer and stiffer as the game went on,” Mattingly said. “So we’re hoping he can play [Tuesday], but we’ll see.”

The Marlins led off the sixth inning with four consecutive singles, the third of which came off the bat of Prado and cut the deficit to 7-6.

Giancarlo Stanton pinch hit two batters later and hit a game-tying sacrifice fly. The Braves loaded the bases by intentionally walking Bour. But reliever Chaz Roe struck out Realmuto and induced Adeiny Hechavarria to hit into an inning-ending ground out.

Ichiro recorded his 899th career multi-hit game and surpassed Lou Brock for 24th on the all-time MLB hits list with his first two of his three singles in the game. Ichiro raised his hits total to 3,025 all-time.

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