Miami Marlins

Braves walk-off on Marlins after lengthy rain delay to spoil quality Yamamoto start

Jordan Yamamoto of the Miami Marlins pitches in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on July 5, 2019, in Atlanta, Georgia
Jordan Yamamoto of the Miami Marlins pitches in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on July 5, 2019, in Atlanta, Georgia Getty Images

The clock struck midnight, and players made their way back to the field.

A nearly two-and-a-half hour rain delay that followed two-and-a-half hours of scoreless baseball at SunTrust Park finally subsided. In mere minutes, action would resume.

The Atlanta Braves took full advantage.

Brian McCann hit a walk-off single off Jose Quijada to score Freddie Freeman and lead the Braves to a 1-0 win over the Miami Marlins to open a three-game series.

It capped a baseball game that began at 7:21 p.m. Friday night, went into a rain delay at 9:42 p.m., started again at 12:10 a.m. Saturday and lasted 39 more minutes.

The Braves (53-36) have now won nine of 10 games against the Marlins (32-54) this season. Miami has now lost five consecutive games and eight of their last 10. Friday was the Marlins’ 14th shutout loss of the season.

It spoiled a strong outing from starting pitcher Jordan Yamamoto, who went toe-for-toe with the Braves’ Julio Teheran.

Yamamoto’s latest line: Six shutout innings, two hits and three walks (one intentional) while striking out seven.

It was a needed rebound performance for Yamamoto, who six days earlier gave up four runs (two earned) in four innings at home against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Through five starts, Yamamoto now has a 1.24 ERA, giving up four earned runs (six runs total) on 11 hits and 15 walks while striking out 30 in 29 innings of work.

He showed poise throughout his start Friday, holding a potent Braves lineup without a hit until McCann landed a soft line drive into center field with two outs in the fifth. His fastball topped out at 94.7 mph, and he once again effectively used his five-pitch mix to keep hitters off balance.

“I definitely just had fun with it,” Yamamoto said. “It kind of sucks that we lost, but we played a hell of a game. Catching, defense. Just sucks to lose right now. It’s one of those things.”

He showed moxie in the sixth, working out of a self-induced jam. Yamamoto started the frame by walking pinch-hitter Matt Joyce and giving up a single to Ronald Acuna to put runners on first and second. Ozzie Albies then hit a ground ball to Garrett Cooper at first base, which induced a double play but moved Joyce to third base. An intentional walk to Freddie Freeman put runners on the corners before Josh Donaldson hit a soft grounder to the pitcher’s mound to end the inning.

“He doesn’t seem to rattle,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “... He’s really good about limiting damage.”

The lone problem for Yamamoto: He earned a no-decision in the stellar start because he received no run support. The Marlins stranded seven runners over the first seven innings before the delay and nine runners overall.

“We had a few. We had some chances,” Mattingly said. “Again, we’ve got to find ways to put runs on the board.”

Austin Brice and Nick Anderson each threw a scoreless inning of relief — Brice before the delay, Anderson after — before the Braves struck in the ninth. Freeman led off with a double, and Donaldson was intentionally walked to put runners on first and second. Nick Markakis grounded out to move both runners. Another intentional walk to Austin Riley loaded the bases before McCann hit his game-winning bloop single to left field.

Injury updates

Utilityman Jon Berti, on the 10-day injured list with a left oblique strain, was removed from his rehab assignment with Triple A New Orleans due to a left hamstring strain. Berti was batting .400 (6 for 15) with two home runs, four RBI and four runs scored through his first four rehab games with the Baby Cakes.

Catcher Chad Wallach, on the 60-day IL with a concussion, begins a rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Jupiter on Saturday.

Jordan McPherson covers the Miami Marlins and high school sports for the Miami Herald. He attended the University of Florida and covered the Gators athletic program for five years before joining the Herald staff in December 2017.