In a snappily-paced affair, the Braves fell to the Marlins 3-0 in Miami, splitting their two-game set. After an exciting showing during his last start, John Gant fell prey to a big inning, which was all the Marlins needed to win the game and snap the Braves' six-game winning streak.
The Braves actually got their best scoring chance against Adam Conley and the Marlins in the top of the first, as last night's hero Jace Peterson singled to start the game, moved to second on a groundout, and then reached third on a wild pitch. Unfortunately, Freddie Freeman struck out in a sacrifice fly situation and Jeff Francoeur failed to bring him in with two outs.
Gant breezed through the first with two strikeouts, but ran into trouble in the second. Marcell Ozuna crushed a first-pitch fastball for a leadoff triple. Two pitches later, Gant missed his target right in Justin Bour's wheelhouse, and just like that, the Fish had a 2-0 advantage. Tyler Flowers had called for a pitch up-and-in, but low and over the plate gave Bour a chance for the extension he needed to send the pitch out to right. The damage didn't stop there, as the Marlins strung together three consecutive two-strike singles off Gant immediately thereafter to plate another run. The kicker was the RBI single from Jeff Mathis on a hanging curveball: Mathis is one of the worst hitters in baseball with a 48 wRC+, which is somehow even worse at 25 this year.
The rest of the game proceeded in familiar, unexciting fashion. Conley has been a pretty average pitcher in general, with his high walk totals really denting his value so far this season, but he managed to hold the Braves to just four hits and a walk in eight innings. Erick Aybar hit a double for Atlanta's only extra-base hit, and Conley had little trouble mowing through hitters.
The biggest offensive excitement for the Braves came in the bottom of the 9th against Marlins closer AJ Ramos, who's been very good this season. Ramos retired the first two hitters (Freeman, Francoeur) in due course, but then gave up back-to-back singles to Nick Markakis and a pinch-hitting AJ Pierzynski to bring the tying run up in the form of Chase d'Arnaud. However, the Braves lacked the magic to run their streak to seven, as d'Arnaud lifted a liner to left fielder Christian Yelich to end the game.
This game featured the Atlanta debut of Tyrell Jenkins. True to form, Jenkins elicited four straight groundballs in his inning of work. Two were soft comebackers, another was a routine grounder to second, and Ozuna managed to hit one up the middle for a single. All in all, Jenkins was largely as advertised, and perhaps this game will see him get more usage in the future, as it had been over a week since he'd pitched in a game situation.
The Braves return home for a four-game set with the Mets (whom they swept prior to this short two-game detour to Miami) tomorrow night.