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ATL 4, MIA 0; Marlins lose game, move closer to getting full team back

The Marlins were held scoreless by the Atlanta Braves bullpen, but finished the afternoon with an encouraging COVID-19 related development.

Atlanta Braves v Miami Marlins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Marlins may have looked the part of a great team on Sunday, but they didn’t show it in between the lines. The Fish are barely clinging to their NL East lead by percentage points after losing to the Braves, 4-0. It’s the first time in 2020 that Miami’s lineup has been shut out.

The Marlins were in position to clinch a series victory over Atlanta, which they haven’t done since 2017. Elieser Hernandez did everything in his power to give them a chance—his nine strikeouts were the most by any Marlins starter this season.

Relying almost exclusively on his four-seam fastball and slider, Hernandez had extremely sharp command. So much so, the sight of a pedestrian three-ball count in the top of the fifth inning sent Don Mattingly over the edge. He was ejected by home plate umpire James Hoyesfor for arguing balls and strikes. He did not take the decision quietly, storming out of the Marlins dugout and berating Hoye at the plate for several minutes.

Here’s what that scene looked and sounded like:

Bench coach/offensive coordinator James Rowson took over as acting manager for the rest of the game (his first opportunity in that role).

Nick Markakis broke the scoreless tie in the sixth inning with the go-ahead bloop single against Nick Vincent, scoring Dansby Swanson.

Then, the Braves added insurance in the seventh off of Brian Moran. The soft-tossing lefty walked old friend Marcell Ozuna with the bases loaded, extending the lead to 2-0. Markakis followed with a two-run double.

On the bright side, Marlins pitchers combined for a season-high 16 strikeouts. Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte racked up four of those, marking his second-highest total in any major league appearance.

On the brighter side, the club announced postgame that all 18 players who were caught up in the COVID-19 outbreak last month have been approved for reinstatement. They worked out together at the alternate training site in Jupiter on Sunday.

Right-hander Sandy Alcantara and shortstop Miguel Rojas are particularly close to returning to the active roster, per Craig Mish.

The homestand continues Monday night at 7:10 p.m. ET with the opener of a four-game series against the Mets. Probable starters are Robert Gsellman and Jordan Yamamoto.

Marlins vs. Braves box score

Fish Picks Answer Key

  1. Monte Harrison (Marlins)
  2. Under
  3. Under
  4. No
  5. Braves