Hero of the Game: Donovan Solano (0.367 WPA)
Goat of the Game: Giancarlo Stanton (-0.191 WPA)
Play of the Game: Donovan Solano singled to right field. Ed Lucas scored. Giancarlo Stanton advanced to third base. (+0.367 WPA)
The beginning of this game looked like the beginning of a huge blowout for the Miami Marlins as they battled the Atlanta Braves in Henderson Alvarez's regular season Marlins debut. Alvarez came out to a parade of hits by the Braves, as four of them picked up hits against some of Alvarez's most middling stuff. Questionable 89 mph pitches were thrown in the strike zone, and the likes of Jason Heyward and Brian McCann wasted little time smashing them on their way to a three-run first inning and an early lead.
But after that, the Marlins buckled down defensively and Alvarez settled in. After the four hits in the first, he allowed just one more baserunner to reach in the remaining four innings. At some point, he retired 11 straight Braves, including two on strikeouts. He did not walk a man either as he settled into a much-needed groove for Miami.
The only reason why Alvarez even left in the top of the sixth inning was because the Marlins on their way to mounting their comeback. It began in the second inning, as Marcell Ozuna took a hanging slider from Julio Teheran and blasted it to left field with ease for his third home run of the season. It continued in the following inning with singles from Jeff Mathis and Justin Ruggiano leading to an RBI groundout. The comeback was complete in the fifth inning when Logan Morrison doubled and was singled home by Ozuna.
The Marlins failed to bring in a run in the fifth with runners on first and third with no one out. Alvarez was pulled for Greg Dobbs with one out, but he popped up and the inning eventually ended uneventfully,
The Fish finally completed the threat in the ninth inning. With Craig Kimbrel in the game, the Marlins forced two walks and, with two outs, a pinch hitter delivered. Donovan Solano singled home the winning run.
Steve Cishek came out and immediately struggled, walking the leadoff hitter Freddie Freeman. But somewhere in between, he calmed down enough to get McCann out. Then, Dan Uggla hit a long fly ball to the right field gap that looked like an RBI was written all over it until Giancarlo Stanton, who was 0-for-4 on the night, made a diving grab to preserve the lead. Cishek finished his 17th save and the Marlins won their fourth straight series.