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Marlins cough up 4-run lead, fall to Atlanta in 12 innings

In a game that the Marlins should have won, lack of execution in the later innings led to defeat in heartbreaking fashion.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Miami Marlins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Ronald Acuña Jr. brought the Braves back from the verge of defeat with a game-tying, three-run homer in the top of the ninth on Sunday, and they completed the series sweep of the Marlins in 12 innings, 7-6. It was a frustrating game for the Miami bullpen, particularly Sergio Romo who let a four-run lead get away.

The Marlins were looking for some sort of spark on the offensive side of the baseball after scoring just one run combined on Friday and Saturday. Austin Dean provided it with a 354-foot solo home run to right in the bottom of the first.

Atlanta got their offense moving in the third. Max Fried, the opposing pitcher, drilled a game-tying RBI double to right, bringing home Matt Joyce, who finished 3-for-4 with a walk.

Overall, though, Pablo López quieted the Braves lineup, tossing six innings of one-run ball, while striking out seven Atlanta batters. His curveball was particularly nasty and his fastball topped out at 96 miles per hour.

Fried pitched six innings, giving up three runs on six hits. Miami capitalized in the fifth, after Bryan Holaday drove home Martin Prado with an RBI double to left. Dean continued his offensive outburst, scoring Miguel Rojas with a single to left. He finished with three hits and three runs batted in, his best game at the plate since being recalled from Triple-A New Orleans last month.

The Marlins extended their lead in the seventh, after Dean and Starlin Castro delivered key hits.

But ahead 5-1 in the ninth, Sergio Romo fell apart.

In one inning of work, Romo allowed four runs on three hits, including a walk and a balk. Romo’s horrific performance resulted in his total ERA rising to 5.48.

After Atlanta retook a 6-5 lead in the 10th, the Marlins responded in the home half. The slumping Martin Prado drilled a double to deep center, bringing home Harold Ramirez.

With Adam Conley on the mound in the 12th, Ozzie Albies belted a one-out triple and Matt Joyce drove home Albies with a sharp single that skipped past Brian Anderson into left.

Both the Marlins and Braves used seven relievers Sunday. In six innings of work, Miami’s bullpen surrendered six runs on five hits.

The Marlins will continue their nine-game homestead Monday night, welcoming the St. Louis Cardinals to Marlins Park for a three-game duel. Sandy Alcantara, who has tossed 15 consecutive shutout innings at home, will open the series. The Cardinals will send out righty Michael Wacha. First pitch is scheduled for 7: 10 PM.

Braves vs. Marlins box score (Baseball Theater)

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