It’s been four years since Touki Toussaint’s blazing fastballs, clocked consistently in the high 90s, lit up radar guns all over South Florida.
Toussaint completed his journey to the big leagues Monday afternoon and picked up his first major league victory at the Marlins’ expense.
Toussaint tossed six innings and limited the Marlins to one run on two hits over six innings in a quality major league debut that helped the Braves secure an 9-1 win at SunTrust Park.
The Marlins (48-72), who were set to play a second game following the contest which made up for a rain-out on Aug. 1, lost for the 11th time in their past 13 games and have gone 5-15 over their past 20 games since July 22.
But a more damaging loss came when third baseman Martin Prado was lifted for a pinch hitter in the third inning after suffering a left quad injury.
Prado flew out to right field in the top of the first inning and jogged back to the dugout, returning to play defense in the bottom of the frame and in the second. Miguel Rojas entered the game for him in the third.
Marlins manager Don Mattingly said Prado hurt his quad chasing down a foul ball.
After the game, the Marlins placed Prado on the 10-day disabled list and recalled utility player Christopher Bostick from Triple A New Orleans in time for the second game of the doubleheader.
Bostick, who was traded to the Marlins from the Pirates on Sunday for cash considerations, has major league experience at second base and left field, and had already been added to the Marlins’ 40-man roster. Bostick, 25, played in 22 games over the past two seasons for the Pirates while hitting .276 (8 for 29) with an RBI.
Prado’s injury was the latest setback in a frustrating series of injuries for the Marlins’ 34-year old captain, who was limited to 37 games in 2017 due to right hamstring injuries and knee surgery.
Prado, who was not able to fully participate in spring training due to the right hamstring issue, played his 53rd game of this season on Monday and has gone 47 of 193 at the plate (.244) with a home run and 15 RBI.
“It didn’t sound talking to Dusty [Marlins’ trainer Dustin Luepker] that it was too severe and he thought it should be short, but we’ll see how it goes,” Mattingly said. “It was enough to know he isn’t going to be able to play for a little bit.”
Toussaint, who pitched for the World Team in this year’s MLB All-Star Futures Game, struck out four and walked two on 83 pitches. Toussaint’s fastball topped at 96.4 mph on Monday and he mixed in a curveball and splitter for a combined six swinging strikes.
The Marlins did their only damage against Toussaint in the second inning. Derek Dietrich led off the frame by drawing a walk, and following a single by JT Riddle, Isaac Galloway doubled to right center to drive in the Marlins’ lone run. Toussaint worked out of the jam when Magneuris Sierra flew out to left and Yadiel Rivera and Pablo Lopez struck out.
“I thought we chased a little bit out of the zone,” Mattingly said. “He’s a guy you have to limit the plate and you wanna cover one side really and he gave us some trouble. We weren’t able to execute and get that run across in the second.”
The Marlins have scored three runs or fewer in 10 of their past 11 games.
Lopez pitched his shortest outing since his second career start on July 5th, tossing 5 1/3 innings and allowing six runs (five earned) on six hits, five of which were extra-base hits including Ronald Acuna, Jr.’s leadoff solo home run that he hit off a fastball on a 3-1 count. Lopez struck out five and walked two and threw 96 pitches.
“I didn’t execute on two-strike counts and left the balls a little higher than I wanted to,” Lopez said. “He’s a creator for how young he is and he’s amazing at the plate. You can’t fall behind with him and have to pitch in the strike zone.”
Tuesday: Miami Marlins RHP Trevor Richards (3-7, 3.98 ERA) vs. Atlanta Braves RHP Anibal Sanchez (6-3, 2.83), 7:35 p.m., SunTrust Park.
NOTE: The Miami Herald is now offering a digital sports-only subscription for $30 per year. This is unlimited access to all Herald sports and sports stories, thus allowing you to comment in the section below as many times as you wish. Click right here to get started immediately.