After Kyle Wright authored the best start of his young career Friday night, striking out 11 over 6 shutout innings, it appeared the Marlins’ early season woes were set to persist. For their sake, this would, fortunately, not be the case.
Getaway day in Atlanta proved an all-around effort for Miami walked away with a 5-4 victory over the Braves. Now 7-8, the Fish’s exit from Truist Park saw them take 2-of-3 from the defending World Champions.
“It’s huge for us to come over here and win a series in I don’t know how long,” said first baseman Garrett Cooper.
Eight of the team’s starters reached base safely Sunday, with the lone exception, Jesús Sánchez, taking an 0-for-5 on the day, punching out twice.
On the pitching side of things, Jesús Luzardo’s third start of the season proved effective, with the South Florida native striking out 8 over 5 innings of 1-run ball. Luzardo ran into some trouble in the 5th, working 4 3-ball counts before striking out Austin Riley to escape a bases-loaded jam.
“I thought Jesús kind of set the tone,” said manager Don Mattingly.
“He was getting everything over, he was ahead in the count before he lost the strike zone, but I thought he recovered well getting Riley there.”
Of his 87 pitches thrown, Luzardo generated 18 swings and misses, with his fastball routinely hitting 99-mph.
Huge strikeout by Jesús Luzardo. Great start from him and he holds the lead in the fifth.— Ethan Budowsky (@ethanbudowsky) April 24, 2022
Blows 98 upstairs by Austin Riley for his 8th K pic.twitter.com/SXNo1oWHHs
In relief of Luzardo, the bullpen tandem of Cody Poteet, Richard Bleier, and Anthony Bass authored 3 scoreless frames. Bass would enter the game in the bottom of the 7th, only needing one pitch to roll a double-play ball off the bat of Riley.
Riley would, however, make things interesting in the 9th, as his two-run homer (4) off of Tanner Scott would cut Miami’s lead to 1. Newly acquired Louis Head would come in and strike out Adam Duvall and Eddie Rosario to collect his first career save.
Despite striking out 4 times, Avisaíl García added an RBI double to the scoring effort. Cooper, Joey Wendle, and Jacob Stallings would, too, drive in runs with two-base hits of their own.
#Marlins hold on, 5-4— Christina De Nicola (@CDeNicola13) April 24, 2022
- 2nd series W in 15 tries at Truist Park since opening in '17 (April 12-15, 2021)
- 1st career save for Louis Head (was a salesman a year ago)
- Garrett Cooper w/multiple RBIs in consecutive games for 1st time since May 20-22, 2021 pic.twitter.com/s3LRXKRX3H
With Monday being a travel day, the Fish will resume play Tuesday as they make their way to the nation's capital for their first meeting with the Washington Nationals. Sandy Alcantara (1-0, 1.86 ERA) is slated to face off against Josiah Gray (2-1, 3.14 ERA), with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 Eastern.
- No-K, O-K: Joey Wendle exited play Sunday with more doubles RBI, and walks, 5 each, than strikeouts, 4, across his 48 plate appearances.
- Bass-Master: Had he not gone out for the 8th, Anthony Bass would’ve become the 11th Marlins pitcher to record two outs on just one pitch. The feat was last accomplished by Brad Ziegler on 09/29/17, against Atlanta.
- Before Scott’s 9th inning home run to Riley, the Miami bullpen had allowed 17 runs over 53.1 innings (2.87 ERA). Their collective 3.06 ERA entering play Sunday ranked 12th in the Majors and 5th in the NL.