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Giancarlo Stanton hits 54th home run, but Marlins fall to Braves 6-5

Don Mattingly talks about the Marlins' 6-5 loss to Atlanta

Kyle Barraclough gave up a bases-loaded walk in the ninth as the Braves rallied for the win.
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Kyle Barraclough gave up a bases-loaded walk in the ninth as the Braves rallied for the win.

The Marlins discovered a new way to lose Saturday.

For the second time in three games, the Braves defeated them with a walk-off run in the ninth. Only this time, it took four pitches — none of them thrown for strikes — by Kyle Barraclough for the winning run to score.

The Braves prevailed 6-5 on Barraclough’s four-pitch, bases-loaded walk to Ender Inciarte with two outs in the ninth. Of the Braves’ eight walk-off wins this season, four have come against the Marlins.

The Marlins have now lost 11 of their past 13 games.

Saturday’s loss was a tough pill to swallow for the Marlins. Giancarlo Stanton crushed his 54th home run, a solo shot in the first inning, and the Marlins scored three more runs in the fourth to take a 4-0 lead.

But starter Adam Conley and the Marlins bullpen allowed it to evaporate.

Conley was unable to make it through the fifth after giving up four runs on nine hits, and the bullpen didn’t do a whole lot better, with the Braves getting over the top against Barraclough.

With the score tied 5-5 and runners at second and third with one out, Barraclough and the Marlins almost got out of the inning unharmed when Marcell Ozuna was brought in as a fifth infielder.

The strategy worked when Lane Adams bounced to Miguel Rojas, who threw home to nail the runner at the plate. But Barraclough then walked Nick Markakis to bring up Inciarte, who never lifted his bat off his shoulder.

Barraclough threw four straight balls to force in the winning run.

“Obviously, it’s disappointing losing like that,” said manager Don Mattingly. “You’re up 4-0 and they just don’t lock it down at all.”

The Marlins got off to a good start when Stanton walloped his 54th home run, a 456-foot solo shot in the first inning off Braves starter Max Fried, and the Marlins expanded the lead with three-run fourth inning.

But Conley and the Marlins bullpen couldn’t hold it.

After the Marlins had taken a 4-0 lead with three runs in the fourth, the Braves answered with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning. The Marlins made it 5-4 on J.T. Realmuto’s RBI single in the fifth.

But the Braves eventually tied it in the sixth before winning in the ninth.

All of it spoiled another night of power by Stanton, who is going for 60 home runs and has turned a new leaf in Atlanta.

After struggling at the plate for years at Turner Field, the Braves’ old ballpark, he’s taken a liking to their new one. Stanton now claims three of the longest four home runs hit at the newly opened ballpark north of Atlanta. His sudden success there marked a far cry from his days at Turner Field, where he hit only two homers in 145 at bats. He’s already hit four at SunTrust.

The latest blast puts Stanton on pace to finish the season with 61 homers.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

▪ A lot of Floridians who have evacuated the state due to Hurricane Irma and found their way to Atlanta have taken the Braves up on their free ticket offer. During their four-game series with the Marlins, The Braves are giving free tickets to any evacuee of Florida, Georgia or South Carolina. Saturday, the Braves handed out nearly 7,300 free tickets to fans from those states.

▪ Dee Gordon extended his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games with a fourth inning single.

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