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ATL 6, MIA 2; Acuña and Olson homers give Braves the doubleheader sweep

Atlanta’s power bats quieted a loud LoanDepot Park crowd on Saturday night.

Ronald Acuña Jr. #13 of the Atlanta Braves rounds the bases after hitting a home run during the 1st inning against the Miami Marlins at loanDepot park on August 13, 2022 in Miami, Florida. Photo by Bryan Cereijo/Getty Images

Miami, FL—After dropping game 1 of the Saturday doubleheader, the Miami Marlins returned to the field for game 2 on Dominican Heritage Night. The Fish unfortunately fell behind the Atlanta Braves early and trailed the whole way, resulting in another loss.

In the top of the first inning, the Braves wasted zero time getting it going as Ronald Acuña Jr. hit a homer on Tommy Nance’s first pitch of the game. Nance threw a sinker and it landed in straightaway center field. It was Acuña’s 26th career leadoff homer and his 10th hitting it on the first pitch of the game. Braves lead 1-0.

Luckily for the Marlins, Nance was able to improve from there. Returning from the injured list to make his first-ever MLB start, he lasted through 3 innings. Nance struck out 6 Braves and allowed one hit and one walk.

Nance was throwing a lot of pitches down into the dirt which resulted in 8 swings-and-misses. He threw only 31 of his 56 pitches for strikes (55.4%). Nance did his job and kept the game within striking distance for the Marlins.

Earlier in the day, the Marlins selected the contract of AA pitcher A.J. Ladwig. He is a 29-year-old righty that was having an okay season with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. Although he has a 6-3 record, he had a high ERA but a decently low FIP.

Ladwig was able to get through his first inning very easily. His second time out is when things got a little bit out of hand. Ladwig allowed his first major league hit to former Marlin Marcell Ozuna, then newly called-up Braves top prospect Vaughn Grissom hit a 440-foot bomb to extend the Braves lead to 3-0. The homer went onto the top of AutoNation Alley.

Just when you thought the Marlins offense would be quiet, Luke Williams hit a 2-out triple to put himself in scoring position. Joey Wendle drove in Williams with an infield single that was bobbled up by Dansby Swanson. Braves lead 3-1 after 5 innings.

The Braves extended their lead again when Matt Olson hit another home run. It was his third straight game of the series homering against the Marlins and his 24th of the season overall, making the score 4-1.

Something to note is that the Braves scored all of their runs with home runs to that point. It’s a big difference from the style of offense we are used to seeing in Miami.

Just like he did in game 1 of the doubleheader, Jesús Aguilar hit a homer, bringing the Marlins back within 2 runs on the scoreboard. His 15th jack of the year surpassed Jazz Chisholm Jr. for the Marlins team lead. Braves lead 4-2 after 6 innings of play.

With Ladwig getting into some trouble in the top of the 7th inning, the Marlins shifted to Huascar Brazoban—the first Dominican pitcher used on this special night—to get them out of a jam and keep this a 2-run ballgame. Brazoban loaded the bases and Matt Olson hit a blooper to center field which drove in Michael Harris II and Ronald Acuña Jr. Harris was Ladwig’s final guy who scored. Acuña was Brazoban’s responsibility. Braves lead 6-2 after the top of the 7th.

A.J. Ladwig finished his MLB debut after 3 13 innings of work. It was a rough one, but it was a huge milestone regardless for a guy who has overcome a lot of adversity during his professional career, such as Tommy John surgery, the canceled 2020 MiLB season, and being released by the Tigers earlier this season.

It was an interesting 9th inning, with Anthony Bender suffering an apparent right arm injury and the Marlins loading the bases in the bottom of the inning to bring the potential tying run to the plate. The score remained 6-2.

Ladwig lost the game while Anderson won it. Miami is now 50-64 on the year while the Braves improve to 69-46.

Manager Don Mattingly’s Postgame Press Conference

The Braves will win the series with the chance to sweep the Marlins Sunday at 1:40 pm. Braxton Garrett will be on the mound and Atlanta’s starter has not yet been announced. LoanDepot Park is holding its Jewish Heritage celebration.