Marlins rout Braves 16-2 to sweep series, stay in wild-card hunt
MIAMI (AP) — Jazz Chisholm Jr. hit a grand slam for the second consecutive game and the Miami Marlins routed the Atlanta Braves 16-2 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep of the NL East champions.
Jorge Soler, Jake Burger and Nick Fortes also went deep, and Luis Arraez had three hits for the Marlins, who began the day a half-game out of the third NL wild-card spot. It was Miami’s first three-game sweep over Atlanta since 2015.
“Our team is here to fight,” Chisholm said. “I don’t care about the team we go up against because I know my team is going to go out there and battle every single pitch. I felt every pitch today, everybody was ready.”
Marlins starter Jesús Luzardo struck out eight in six scoreless innings. Luzardo (10-9) allowed four hits and walked two.
Miami outscored Atlanta 36-11 in the series after getting outscored 83-29 while losing nine of the previous 10 meetings between the division foes this season. The Marlins managed only five runs in four games against Milwaukee before facing the Braves.
“Baseball is just weird,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said. “It doesn’t make any sense, honestly. As soon as you think you’ve got this thing figured out, something else happens.”
Braves star outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. missed his second straight game because of right calf tightness.
In addition to his homer, Fortes doubled twice and singled for his first career four-hit game. He began Sunday hitting .199.
“Hopefully it will kick-start me as well,” Fortes said. “I’ve been working with a lot of stuff and it’s not how you start but how you finish. Trying to finish strong and help the team as much as I can.”
Chisholm’s shot over the wall in right-center capped a five-run third against Braves starter Charlie Morton. Josh Bell hit an RBI single before Chisholm became the first Marlins player to hit grand slams in consecutive games.
“I’m not going to lie, it was definitely in my head,” Chisholm said about hitting a second slam. “But I wasn’t trying to hit a homer. I just knew I can and tried to touch it. Probably my easiest swing of the year.”
Four consecutive two-out walks by Morton in the fifth increased Miami’s lead to 6-0 and ended his outing. Morton (14-12) gave up six runs and six hits. He walked five and struck out five.
“I don’t have a great chance to beat anybody giving up six runs,” Morton said. “I’m not going to start worrying about the three games that we had here against a team that’s been playing really good baseball.”
Arraez’s RBI single and Soler’s two-run homer off Dereck Rodriguez in the sixth made it 10-0. Activated from the injured list earlier in the day, Soler drove Rodriguez’s fastball into the left-field seats for his 36th homer.
“He’s won a lot of games for us this year. It wasn’t fun not putting his name in the lineup the last couple of weeks,” Schumaker said.
Burger also connected off Rodriguez with his two-run shot in the seventh. Rodriguez, promoted from the minors Sunday, allowed eight runs and eight hits in two innings.
Marcell Ozuna hit his 35th homer and Michael Harris II had an RBI single for the Braves in the eighth before Fortes connected on a solo shot in the bottom half.
Miami’s Jesús Sánchez had three walks, a single and was hit by a pitch. ... Arraez went 9 for 14 in the series and increased his major league-leading batting average to .353.
The game was played with three umpires. Manny González, who worked the first two games, was not with the crew Sunday.
The Marlins optioned OF Dane Myers to Triple-A Jacksonville to make room for Soler. Miami also selected the contract of RHP Chi Chi González from Jacksonville and optioned LHP Josh Simpson to the same minor league club.
The Braves selected the contract of Rodriguez from Triple-A Gwinnett and optioned Jared Shuster to the same affiliate.
Braves: Eddie Rosario was hit on his right elbow by a 97 mph fastball from Luzardo in the fourth. Although he needed assistance from the training staff, Rosario stayed in the game before being removed in the seventh. ... LHP Dylan Lee (left shoulder inflammation) was transferred to the 60-day injured list.
Marlins: OF Bryan De La Cruz (right ankle discomfort) missed his second consecutive game. ... OF Avisaíl García (left hamstring strain) is scheduled to increase his lower body rehab activities this week.
Braves: Return home for a three-game series against Philadelphia beginning Monday, when RHP Kyle Wright (1-2, 7.48 ERA) will start against Phillies RHP Zack Wheeler (11-6, 3.70).
Marlins: RHP Edward Cabrera (6-7, 4.52 ERA) will start the opener of a three-game series against the Mets at home on Monday. RHP José Butto (1-2, 3.46) pitches for New York.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB
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