The narrative surrounding Pablo López’s performance against the Atlanta Braves thus far has been less than stellar, to put it mildly.
Entering Sunday’s start in anticipation of securing the Marlins’ first series sweep since May 4-6th - his 10th against the three-time defending NL East champions - López carried a career 5.24 ERA against the club. In his one prior start against them this season, López, 25, allowed 6 runs over 4 innings in a 14-8 Marlins win on April 13th.
So when right fielder Ronald Acuña Jr. and Freddie Freeman started the game with a single and double, respectively, it appeared more of the same for the Marlins’ right-hander. Come the end of the top of the 1st and with 2 walks and a hit-by-pitch to add to an Austin Riley single, Miami took their first turn to bat down 3-0. López now owns a career 4.82 ERA in the 1st inning.
The native-Venezuelan would last just 3 innings Sunday, throwing 84 pitches and allowing 4 runs on 6 hits, walking 2 and hitting a batter - Guillermo Heredia - bumping his career ERA against Atlanta to 5.66. The Braves’ fourth run would come courtesy of a 3rd inning home run by the above-noted Riley, his 12th of the season.
Austin Riley made this oppo shot look too easy pic.twitter.com/jl06U745kl— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) June 13, 2021
John Curtiss would follow López in the 4th, allowing 1 run in 2 innings work, to which the Braves would take a 5-0 lead headed into the bottom of the 5th.
The Marlins would claw back, though, putting together a two-run fifth against Drew Smyly, who struck out 6 in his 5 innings of work. Starling Marté, who entered play with a 181 OPS+, knocked in his first of two runs on the day with an RBI single in the fifth. The Marlins’ center fielder would add another run-scoring single in the 7th, this time for two runs, plating Jazz Chisholm and Isan Díaz, who entered following an injury to José Devers.
For Marté, who will enter mid-June hitting .351, the team’s most valuable offensive contributor also flashed the leather, making two run-saving catches in the 8th and 9th innings, as well as picking up his 4th outfield assist of the season in the 5th.
Despite the efforts to fight back, Atlanta would avoid the sweep with a 6-4 win, picking up their 30th win of the season, snapping the Fish’s three-game winning streak.
The Marlins, themselves, will make their second bid for win number 30 on Monday as they fly to St. Louis to begin a three-game set against the Cardinals. Braxton Garrett will get the ball in the series opener, with first pitch slated for 8:15 Eastern.
- Corey Dickerson was removed for precautionary reasons following a ground out in the 7th.
- José Devers’ injury was related to a lingering shoulder issue. Craig Mish notes his status for the upcoming road trip at this time is “questionable.”