Miami Marlins

Pitcher Caleb Smith the Miami Marlins’ top hitter in shutout loss to the Braves

The Miami Marlins’ Caleb Smith pitches against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019, at SunTrust Park in Atlanta
The Miami Marlins’ Caleb Smith pitches against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019, at SunTrust Park in Atlanta Getty Images

Caleb Smith’s highlight performance on Wednesday came in the batter’s box, not on the mound. The Miami Marlins’ left-handed pitcher roped a pair of doubles in his two at-bats, the first to left field in the third and the second to right field with one out in the fifth.

“Smitty probably swung the bat as good as anybody,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.

Smith had little support otherwise, though, and coughed up a pair of home runs as the Marlins lost 5-0 to the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park.

The Marlins (45-80) have lost 11 consecutive road games and 15 of their last 18 overall. They have been shut out 18 times this year.

The Braves (76-52) opened scoring in the third with a Tyler Flowers RBI triple and an Adeiny Hechavarria home run. Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a two-run homer in the fifth.

“Just mislocation,” Smith said of the two home runs. “My slider [to Hechavarria] didn’t slide a whole lot. Left it up. My fastball to Acuna was supposed to be in and it was as middle as you could get.”

Those were the only three hits Smith gave up over six innings, but four walks and five full counts raised his pitch count early. Smith struck out seven.

Smith, the first Marlins pitcher with multiple doubles in a game since A.J. Burnett in 2002, was the only Miami player to get in scoring position until Lewis Brinson’s two-out double in the ninth. The Marlins went 0 for 15 with runners on base.

It was another rough night against Julio Teheran, who struck out nine over seven shutout innings.

For the season, Teheran gave up just one earned run over 32 innings — a minuscule 0.28 ERA — over five starts against the Marlins.

“Teheran has kind of shut us down all year,” Mattingly said. “We haven’t had any luck against him. A guy like that or a situation like that kind of ends up in your head.”

The Marlins once again out-hit the Braves, 7-3, and have now lost an MLB-leading 20 games — including four of their last five — when out-hitting their opponent.

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The streak continues

Marlins pitchers have now given up home runs in 22 consecutive games, extending their franchise record. Miami has given up multiple homers in 18 of those 22 games, including the last nine.

Rehab updates

Starting pitcher Pablo Lopez threw six strong innings in a rehab assignment with the Triple A New Orleans Baby Cakes on Wednesday night. Lopez, who has been on the injured list since June 19 with a right shoulder strain, gave up just two runs (one earned) on eight hits and no walks with five strikeouts.

Lopez threw 70 pitches, 51 for strikes, and forced inning-ending double plays in both the fifth and sixth innings.

Hernandez improving

Mattingly said right-handed pitcher Elieser Hernandez, who left Tuesday’s 5-1 loss to the Braves after four innings due to a right middle finger blister, is tentatively scheduled to make his next start on Sunday against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Hernandez has been managing the blister for a couple of weeks. He likely won’t throw a bullpen session.

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.
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