Wednesday, April 15, 2015

As Majors honor Jackie, Marlins show pop to edge Braves

Adeiny Hechavarria had three hits, including a two-run homer, and Dee Gordon hit a two-run double as the Marlins topped the Braves, 6-2, Wednesday afternoon at Turner Field on Jackie Robinson Day. Michael Morse added a solo shot, his first of the season, for the Marlins, who outscored the Braves, 14-4, over the last two games to win the series and gain a measure of revenge for Atlanta's season-opening sweep in Miami.
Eric Stults (0-1) took the loss for Atlanta, allowing four earned runs on five hits in five innings. Stults allowed a pair of runs in the third on Gordon's double, then allowed two more in the fifth on a homer by Hechavarria, who is hitting .500 career against him (6-for-12).
Dan Haren (1-0) got the win for the Marlins, shutting out the Braves through five innings and not allowing a hit until Andrelton Simmons grounded a single up the middle with two outs in the fifth. Haren allowed two runs and three hits over seven frames.
Center fielder Cameron Maybin's second homer of the season leading off the sixth and Kelly Johnson's first of the year leading off the seventh accounted for the only two runs off Haren, who raised his career record to 7-2 against Atlanta and 5-1 at Turner Field. The Marlins righty has allowed three runs in 13 innings over two starts this season, all of them coming on homers.
"Hech is a big part of our lineup," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "When he can have the kind of day he had today, that takes the pressure off the other guys. We can't rely on Giancarlo [Stanton] and Michael Morse and those guys to do the damage every single day. We're going to need some other guys to help contribute. What a great day on his birthday too. I know the guys were singing 'Happy Birthday' after his home run."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Haren's veteran presence: After walking two in the first inning, Haren's experience kicked in, and he was able to wiggle out of early trouble. Haren retired Braves catcher Christian Bethancourt on a liner to left, and then Johnson grounded to first to end the threat. Haren didn't allow a hit until there were two outs in the fifth inning, with Miami up four runs.
Can't spell Christian without 'CS': It looked like deja vu for Miami, when Gordon led off Wednesday's game by getting on, then taking off for second. But unlike Tuesday, when Gordon swiped the base to set up a three-run inning, Bethancourt fired a strike to second to nail Gordon. Stults then settled in, retiring Ichiro Suzuki and Giancarlo Stanton to end the first. The caught stealing was Gordon's second of the season in eight tries. Both have been by Bethancourt, with the first coming on Opening Day.
Marlins' power surge: Miami came into Wednesday last in the Majors with only one home run in 262 total at-bats, but the Marlins knocked two over the fence on Wednesday. Hechavarria, who had one homer in 2014, connected for the first time since Aug. 27, 2014. Morse delivered a solo shot in the sixth inning, the 100th of his career. More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
• On his 26th birthday, Hechavarria hit his first homer of the season. In club history, Hechavarria joins Jeff Conine, Orestes Destrade, Charles Johnson,Preston Wilson, Derrek Lee (twice), Paul Lo Duca and Jarrod Saltalamacchia to homer on their birthday.
QUOTABLE
"J.T. did a great job back there. I have a pretty thorough game plan I have to go over. I'm not out there throwing 95 mph. I have a pretty detailed game plan. I went over with him the last few days because I thought there's a decent chance he catches me." -- Haren, on working with catcher J.T. Realmuto, who was called up from Triple-A New Orleans on Monday.
"[Freeman] hit the ball hard all homestand. The only time he gets credit is when he hits it out of the ballpark. Everything is a line drive here, a line drive there. Those are good things. Just got to be patient and you'll get rewarded, because he's got good swings right now." -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, on first baseman Freddie Freeman. Freeman was 1-for-10 in the series vs. Miami and 3-for-22 on the homestand.
WHAT'S NEXT
Marlins: Miami's 10-game road trip moves on to New York after a three-game set at Atlanta. Jarred Cosart (0-1, 1.50) gets the four-game series started on Thursday. The Mets will go with righty Dillon Gee (0-1, 9.00).
Braves: The Braves have an off-day on Thursday, then embark on a 10-day road trip beginning with an interleague series in Toronto then passing through New York and Philadelphia. Atlanta hands the ball to unbeaten Julio Teheran(2-0, 1.50 ERA) on Friday. The 24-year-old Teheran will try to lower his 8.31 career ERA against Toronto, his second-highest against any team -- he allowed four earned runs in 4 1/3 innings in one career outing against the Blue Jays back in 2012, his fourth career start.

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