The Braves lost their manager. They lost Matt Kemp. They lost their cool.
But, as has been the case for much of the season, they didn’t lose to the Marlins.
Adonis Garcia lofted a two-out RBI single off A.J. Ramos in the ninth to break a 2-2 tie, and the Braves held on for a 3-2 win over the Marlins on Friday night at Marlins Park.
It was the seventh consecutive win for the last-place Braves and improved their record against the Marlins this season to 11-6.
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Tempers flared in the second when home-plate umpire Adam Hamari deemed Andrew Cashner’s high-and-away pitch to Nick Markakis a strike with the bases loaded and two outs.
After Markakis flied out on the next pitch to end the threat, the Braves went bonkers.
Matt Kemp, who had been standing on first, approached the plate, began arguing with Hamari and was ejected. So was Braves manager Brian Snitker for also voicing his displeasure.
That wasn’t the end of it.
In the fourth, Tyler Flowers was called out on strikes but reached on a passed ball by J.T. Realmuto. Flowers began yelling at Hamari while standing on first.
The Marlins’ Martin Prado and Marcell Ozuna also took issue with Hamari on called third strikes.
“A lot of complaints,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “Usually when you’ve got both sides complaining, if both teams think it’s bad, it’s probably bad.”
Emotions eventually cooled, and the Braves tied the game in the sixth when Freddie Freeman doubled and continued to third when Giancarlo Stanton mishandled the ball. It extended Freeman’s hitting streak to 27 games in a row. He eventually scored on a Flowers double that Stanton — who has been slowed by his groin injury — couldn’t get to in right.
“We know he’s not playing at 100 percent,” Mattingly said. “I can’t say definitively that he catches that ball if he’s 100 percent. [But] I think that’s maybe the first play we feel like he could have been affected by it.”
The Marlins, meanwhile, went dormant offensively after scoring two runs in the first on a Martin Prado double. That would be their last hit until Ichiro Suzuki led off the eighth with a single.
But it went for naught when Ichiro was stranded.
“This has been a pretty common theme for us, getting a couple of runs, letting a team hang around, and then you’re in a coin flip,” Mattingly said. “This is typical of the way we’ve played.”
And a coin flip it became in the ninth.
Former Marlin Emilio Bonifacio singled off Ramos with one out, stole second and took third on Realmuto’s throwing error. One out later, he scored on Garcia’s single.
When Jeff Francoeur walked in the bottom of the ninth, the Marlins sent in pinch-runner Yefri Perez, who tried to steal second with one out. But Perez was thrown out on a close play by Flowers, who had caught only one runner stealing in 57 attempts this season.
So now the Marlins are all but mathematically dead in the wild-card race and are struggling just to finish .500. Their record dropped to 76-78.
“Quite honestly, we’re under .500,” Mattingly said. “We’re in a pennant race, but I think legitimately that it’s hard to say you deserve anything when you’re below .500.”