The Marlins can’t survive on Giancarlo Stanton alone.
Stanton belted another homer — his major-league leading 36th and third in two nights — on Saturday. But he was it offensively for the Marlins, who dropped a 7-2 decision to the Braves at SunTrust Park.
Stanton has driven in all five Marlins runs in the first two games of the series. His RBI double in the eighth accounted for the Marlins’ only other run on Saturday.
The rest of the lineup has looked lifeless, mustering only three hits off 42-year-old R.A. Dickey on Friday and four against Mike Foltynewicz on Saturday.
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Foltynewicz (10-6) struck out a career-high 11 batters in 6 1/3 innings.
And the Marlins defense, just like on Friday, left little to be desired.
“I’m not saying nobody’s trying to do the wrong things,” said Marlins manager Don Mattingly of the latest gaffes. “It just seems like it’s happening at the wrong time.”
The Marlins have now lost four in a row to the Braves and are just 3-7 against them this season.
Saturday’s loss was a near carbon copy of Friday’s setback, with Stanton giving the Marlins (51-57) a brief lead with a sixth-inning homer, only to have it vanish in the very same inning.
Stanton’s 446-foot shot into the left-field bleachers gave the Marlins a 1-0 lead.
But the Braves (51-58) scored twice in their half of the inning on Freddie Freeman’s soft single to short left and Nick Markakis’ hard double beyond Christian Yelich’s reach in center.
Marlins starter Dan Straily (7-8) might have fared better if not for a pair of defensive mishaps. Dee Gordon was late covering second on Ender Inciarte’s steal attempt, causing J.T. Realmuto to double pump before throwing too late. One out later, Freeman dropped his RBI single into short left.
And first baseman Tomas Telis, a catcher who is still learning the position, dropped Straily’s pickoff throw that would have gotten Freeman. Markakis then drove a double out of Yelich’s reach to score Freeman.
“Those things change the ball game,” Straily said of the defensive miscues. “But it’s still up to me to get Markakis out. It’s still up to me to get [Freeman] out, no matter what else happens.”
Straily appeared to have words in the dugout with pitching coach Juan Nieves when he was taken out in the sixth.
“Just very competitive,” Straily said of himself. “I just expect better of myself, expect better of a lot of things, and it’s just frustrating, frustrating the way I finished my outing tonight.”
Mattingly expressed displeasure with the mistakes as well.
“We kind of finally get the lead and have a chance to throw a shutdown inning down, maybe do some more damage, and kind of bite ourselves,” he said. “We don’t play good defense again. We don’t cover at second. And then we drop an out at first. A lot like [Friday night].”
Mattingly said he didn’t know why Gordon was late getting to second. Gordon provided no explanation by refusing to answer questions afterward. And even though Telis is a converted catcher who has received some playing time because of the absence of injured first baseman Justin Bour, Mattingly said there was no excuse for dropping Straily’s pickoff throw.
“He’s played over there,” Mattingly said of Telis. “You’re just catching the ball over there, so we know he can do that.”
The Braves added five runs in the seventh after Hunter Cervenka walked the bases loaded, Dustin McGowan gave up a two-run single to Brandon Phillips and Freeman followed with a three-run homer.