Marlins rally in ninth, stun Braves 5-4 to avoid sweep
ATLANTA (AP) — Garrett Cooper came through with a two-out, two-run double that capped a stunning five-run ninth inning by the Miami Marlins, who avoided a sweep with a 5-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves in a game delayed more than three hours Thursday by inclement weather.
Kyle Wright and four relievers held Miami scoreless until the ninth, but the Marlins overcame a 4-0 deficit against Braves closer A.J. Minter.
Yuli Gurriel, Avisall Garcia and Jazz Chisholm had run-scoring singles to knock out Minter (1-3), who retired only two of the seven hitters he faced. Jesse Chavez came in with two runners aboard, and Cooper knocked them both in with a double to center.
A.J. Puk (2-0) claimed the win. Dylan Floro pitched a perfect ninth for his first save.
The Braves scored all of their four runs in the fifth inning despite getting only two balls out of the infield.
A pair of walks by Matt Barnes (1-1), a bunt single from Vaughn Grissom and a defensive blunder by Miami shortstop Garrett Hampson led to a big inning of small ball that broke a scoreless duel.
Kevin Pillar brought home the game's first run with a bases-loaded walk, and Chadwick Tromp's RBI single made it 2-0.
The Marlins had a chance to limit the damage when Ronald Acuña Jr. grounded one sharply up the middle. Second baseman Luis Arraez made a nifty backhanded grab behind the bag and flipped to shortstop Garrett Hampson to get started on a possible double play.
Hampson, knowing the speedy Acuña was chugging down the line, tried to barehand the toss to make a quicker throw. He dropped the ball instead for an error that left everyone safe.
The game began at lunchtime on a cool, drizzly day. The teams managed to get in three innings before the sprinkles suddenly turned to heavy rain after the Braves took the field to begin the fourth.
The umpires called for the tarp. While the downpour didn't last long, the threat of additional rain led to a three-hour, one-minute delay.
The starting pitchers, Miami's Braxton Garrett and Atlanta's Wright, didn't return when play finally resumed.
Garrett retired the first seven Atlanta hitters before surrendering his lone hit on a single by Pillar.
Wright had a bit more stress, starting each inning with a baserunner on a pair of singles and a walk. But the right-hander struck out six, including the side in the third in what turned out to be his final frame.
Braves RHP Raisel Iglesias was set to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett on Thursday. Iglesias has been sidelined all season with a sore right shoulder after being shut down in the final week of spring training. It's not known how many rehab appearances Iglesias will need before rejoining the Braves' bullpen. He had been projected as the Atlanta closer, a role now held by LHP A.J. Minter.
Marlins: Return home to begin a weekend series against the Chicago Cubs. LHP Jesus Luzardo (2-1, 3.62 ERA) is set to go in the opener Friday against RHP Marcus Stroman (2-2, 2.17) of the Cubs.
Braves: Head to New York to face the Mets in a four-game series. LHP Max Fried (1-0, 0.60 ERA) will pitch the opener for Atlanta against LHP David Peterson (1-3, 7.36).
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Paul Newberry, The Associated Press