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Shelby Miller's winless streak continues as Braves fall to Marlins, 4-0

The Atlanta Braves could not provide any run support once again for Shelby Miller, who fails to notch a win for the 19th consecutive start. Atlanta fell to 8-20 in the month of August.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Shelby Miller's unprecedented winless streak reached 19 consecutive starts on Monday night, as the Atlanta Braves fell 4-0 to the Miami Marlins to open a three-game series at Turner Field.

Miller was stellar in his seven innings of work, giving up a single run on six hits, with no walks and four strikeouts. He was replaced to start the eighth inning after Christian Yelich was announced as a pinch hitter. His winless drought is beginning to shatter records. Before this year, the longest such streak by an all-star pitcher was 13 straight starts without a win by Nolan Ryan in 1985.

"He did an unbelievable job," Fredi Gonzalez said after the game. "I've never seen anything like it. The more I've seen this, the more I think to forget about the wins and losses for pitchers.

"I can't explain it. The only thing I can explain is the way Shelby has behaved through all this. He's gone out and battled and done everything we've asked him to do. He doesn't flinch. I hope that continues," Gonzalez said.

Despite the horrible luck, Miller continues to downplay the importance of his statistics, even all the ones that point to him having a spectacular year.

"All of those stats are great, and you want to put up great stats and be the best you can be, but at the end of the day it's all about going out there and competing," Miller said.

Cole Gillespie rattled the mostly empty seats in left field with a solo home run in the third to tally the lone run against the Braves ace.

Nick Markakis provided the defensive play of the night by snaring a Martin Prado line drive to right field right off his shoe tops to end the third inning.

The Braves had a few chances, but never put together a sustained rally. Michael Bourn singled in the third, but Miller failed to move him over with a sacrifice bunt. Markakis grounded out to end the frame.

Pedro Ciriaco walked for the first time this season in the fourth inning. It was his first free pass since July 4, 2013, while he was a member of the San Diego Padres. Ciriaco got the start over Andrelton Simmons, who was a late scratch due to right ankle inflammation. Following the walk, Ciriaco stole second, but advanced no further, as Adonis Garcia grounded out.

In the sixth, Ciriaco reached with a single, but was thrown out trying to steal second. Due to a blister, Narveson was removed and replaced by Kyle Barraclough, who promptly walked Freddie Freeman and Nick Swisher. Garcia popped out to end another Braves threat.

Swisher entered the game in the sixth inning in place of starting left fielder Jonny Gomes. Television cameras showed Gomes hugging teammates and coaches in the dugout and it was soon announced that he was traded to the Royals. Monday was the final day for new acquisitions to be eligible for postseason play. The Braves got minor league infielder Luis Valenzuela in return.

"I left everything I possibly had in between those lines when my number was called," Gomes said of his time in Atlanta. "But it's a business. On to (Kansas City)."

Gomes' numbers were mediocre in his season with the Braves, as he hit for a .223 average with seven homers and 22 RBIs. But his value in the clubhouse was not lost on his teammates.

"Tough news for such a great guy in the clubhouse," Miller said of Gomes. "(He's) one of the best leaders I've ever been around. I'm obviously going to miss him a lot."

Narveson was making just his second start of the season, after being roughed up for seven runs in his first start against the Pirates. He quieted the Braves bats to pick up the win, going 5.1 scoreless innings and only allowing two hits and two walks while striking out three.

Matt Marksberry pitched the eighth inning for Atlanta, and immediately retired Yelich and Dee Gordon with relative ease. But the wheels came off the tracks quickly, as a walk and back-to-back doubles from Martin Prado and Justin Bour scored a pair of runs. Peter Moylan gave up an additional run in the ninth inning, as the bullpen struggled mightily once again.

Mike Foltynewicz was the scheduled starter for the Braves, but was unable to pitch due to illness. Miller was slated to start Tuesday, but still pitched on normal rest since the Braves had an off day last Thursday. Manny Banuelos has been announced as the Tuesday starter, but no plans have been announced for Wednesday.

Rosters expand Tuesday, and the reinforcements surely cannot hurt a ball club that has struggled mightily. Atlanta compiled an 8-20 record in the month of August.

Rookie Justin Nicolino (2-2 W-L, 3.65 ERA) will take the bump for the Marlins on Tuesday night in the middle game of the series. The game is scheduled for a 7:10 p.m. ET on SportSouth.

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