Share “Braves sputter at plate and lose to...”

Braves sputter at plate and lose to Marlins 9-3

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 30, 2014 at 10:22 pm •  Published: April 30, 2014

MIAMI (AP) — For the second night in a row against a hard-throwing young right-hander, the Atlanta Braves couldn't muster much.

Atlanta managed only three hits Wednesday against Nathan Eovaldi and endured another drubbing from the last-place Miami Marlins, 9-3.

The NL East leaders have been outscored 18-3 in the first two games of the series. The Braves have totaled one run and five hits against Marlins starters Eovaldi and Jose Fernandez.

"We're big-league hitters. We should be able to put some hits up against those guys," the Braves' Chris Johnson said. "They're really, really good, but at some point, with them being in our division, we've got to be able to figure them out. We've got to put some runs on the board. There's no excuse for it."

The Marlins will sweep a series from Atlanta for the first time since 2009 if they can beat Ervin Santana on Thursday.

While Atlanta again sputtered on offense, aside from a late two-run homer by Justin Upton, the Marlins scored nine runs off Aaron Harang (3-2). He gave up 10 hits in 4 2-3 innings, and his ERA rose from a major-league low 0.85 to 2.97.

The Marlins tied a season high with 15 hits, including seven for extra bases.

"They were all hitting like Ted Williams tonight," Harang said.

Miami scored only one run against the veteran right-hander in a loss a week earlier in Atlanta.

"When he did give us a pitch to do something with, we did a much better job of not missing it tonight," said Casey McGehee, who had three hits. "Against him in Atlanta, a lot of the pitches we had to hit we fouled off or missed or took. Tonight we took advantage of our opportunities."

Marcell Ozuna hit a three-run homer, and Christian Yelich added his first home run of the year. The homers were the first allowed by Harang this year.

"Seven days ago to now, it's a totally different team," Harang said. "I had them totally baffled at home. They were comfortable today."

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Harang was squeezed by plate umpire Sean Barber.

"Early in the game he wasn't getting any corners," Gonzalez said. "I'm not blaming the umpire, but sometimes you get a guy that gives you an inch here and an inch there, a pitch here or a pitch there, and it's a little different ballgame."

Continue reading this story on the...