Swingin' in the rain: Braves rally past Fish after delays
Aggressive baserunning and a couple of timely hits proved to be enough for the Braves to add to Mat Latos' early-season woes and claim a 3-2 win over the Marlins on Monday night at Turner Field.
After Eric Young Jr. chased Latos with a double off the center-field wall with none out in the fifth, Alberto Callaspo greeted right-handed reliever Sam Dyson with a go-ahead single. Nick Markakis followed with another RBI single off Dyson to provide some cushion for Atlanta's bullpen, which stifled Miami after Shelby Miller completed five solid innings.
"We want to manufacture runs and just squeeze across enough to win the game," Young said. "That was evident again tonight. It doesn't matter how you get the win, as long as you get it."
Miami left fielder Christian Yelich's RBI groundout accounted for the game's first run. But thanks to two costly throwing errors in the fourth inning and their fifth-inning production, the Braves claimed their fourth win of the season over the Marlins and improved their National League-best record to 6-1.
"We've got to swing the bats better, no doubt," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "We got most of our action late in the game. But there definitely are opportunities there for us earlier in the game to get something going. We just haven't been able to do it."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Yelich's saving catch: Yelich's run-saving diving catch in the second inning was as good as gold. It was also a play that further shows why he was the NL's Gold Glove Award-winning left fielder in 2014. With two outs and two on,Cameron Maybin blistered a liner to deep left. Yelich went back, extended and made a remarkable catch. The Braves weren't so sure he maintained possession, and they kept running. Manager Fredi Gonzalez challenged the play, but the out was confirmed. More >
Latos labors in four-plus: Compared to his first start, where he gave up seven runs in a career-short two-thirds of an inning to Atlanta, Latos made strides on Monday. But in less than ideal conditions, it was tough to establish much of a rhythm. The game started 52 minutes late due to rain, and in the bottom of the fourth inning, there was another delay, this time 39 minutes. After opening with three scoreless innings, Latos was charged with three runs (two earned) in four-plus innings. More >
Bethancourt's dash: After drawing an errant throw from Jarrod Saltalamacchia on a successful stolen-base attempt in the fourth, Christian Bethancourt was fortunate that his decision to boldly take off toward third base drew another off-target throw from shortsop Adeiny Hechavarria. Bethancourt scored a game-tying run moments later on a Latos wild pitch.
Unfazed by another delay: Miller waited through a 52-minute rain delay before throwing the game's first pitch and then aided Atlanta's bullpen by tossing a scoreless fifth after rain halted play in the middle of the fourth inning.More >
"You have to remember this is a marathon. We're not going to win anything in April and May. It's just a matter of putting things together. Guys are struggling. We know it's going to happen. It's a long season. It will turn around. We've got great guys. We've got great talent. We've just got to fight through it and stick together." -- Latos, on Miami's slow start
"I've got to show off my wheels at some point. [Manager Fredi Gonzalez] gave me the sign, and I know the pitcher wasn't paying attention to me at first [base], because I'm pretty sure they know I'm a catcher and catchers aren't usually good runners. But I like to run a little bit, and he gave me the chance and I took advantage of it." -- Bethancourt, on his key stolen base
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Martin keys the 'pen again: The Braves have won six of their first seven games thanks to a bullpen that has allowed just two runs through 24 1/3 innings. While Jason Grilli and Jim Johnson have lived up to expectations in their late-inning roles, Cody Martin, who delivered two scoreless innings on Monday, has been influential to this success. Martin has retired 15 of the first 17 batters he has faced in his career.
Grey unis: In their first road game, the Marlins wore their grey tops on Monday for the first time since Sept. 25, 2012, also at Turner Field. The club has more traditionally worn black or its red-orange away from home.
Marlins:Tom Koehler will be seeking some payback when he starts against the Braves on Tuesday night at 7:10 p.m. ET. At Marlins Park on Wednesday, he gave up two runs in six-plus innings in a 2-0 loss. Koehler is 0-3 with a 3.13 ERA in his career vs. Atlanta.
Braves: Atlanta will counter with Trevor Cahill, who was acquired from Arizona during the final week of Spring Training. Cahill pitched effectively enough in Spring Training to give the Braves' front office confidence he can bounce back after posting a 6.31 ERA in 17 starts last year.