MIAMI (AP) — Ozzie Albies tied a career high with five RBIs. Ronald Acuna Jr. tied a career high with four hits. Mike Soroka watched his already-tiny ERA plummet.
Against the Miami Marlins, Atlanta’s young stars were plenty.
Albies’ sixth-inning grand slam put Atlanta up for good, Soroka was dominant in a career-best seven innings and the result was a second easy win for the Braves in as many nights. They rolled past the Marlins 9-2, getting back over the .500 mark at 17-16.
“We’ve been kind of waiting for that,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said of the offensive display. “I still think it’s an untapped resource for us right now.”
Brian McCann drove in three runs for Atlanta, which trailed 2-0 after five innings before breaking out against Miami’s bullpen. Even Soroka got in on the offense, collecting his first career RBI with a seventh-inning single — his first hit of 2019 and the second of his brief big league career.
It was Albies’ second five-RBI game. The other: May 10, 2018, also at Marlins Park — where he’s obviously comfortable.
“Seems like it, right?” Albies said.
Soroka (3-1) lowered his ERA from 1.62 to 1.14 after seven very sharp innings. He allowed three hits, struck out six, walked only two and the two runs Miami scratched out with him on the mound were unearned.
“If you execute your pitch more often than not, things are going to go your way,” Soroka said.
Peter O’Brien, brought back from Triple-A earlier in the day, drove in the two Marlins runs in the second inning. The Marlins’ major league-worst record fell to 9-23, the third-worst in franchise history through 32 games. Only the 1995 and 1999 Marlins — both 8-24 — started worse.
The Marlins have been outscored by 71 runs this season, and have been held to two runs or less in exactly half of their games — 16 of 32. They’re 0-16 in those games, compared with 9-7 when they scratch out at least three runs.
“A game like this feels terrible,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said after his team committed three errors and was held to three hits. “We get a lead and it gets away from us. We kicked the ball around a little bit. It’s one of those games that doesn’t feel good.”
Marlins starter Trevor Richards gave up two hits and three walks while striking out three in 4 1/3 shutout innings. Nick Anderson (0-1) gave up five runs in 1 1/3 innings, including the grand slam by Albies.
“I just didn’t execute my pitch,” Anderson said. “That’s really all there is to be said.”
Atlanta’s five-run sixth began with a successful challenge of an out call at first to start the inning, with Acuna safe on the play after review. McCann’s double cut the Miami lead to 2-1 and the Marlins were one strike away from getting out of the inning — but Anderson grooved one to Albies, who posed for a second to admire the ball’s flight over the wall in right for his third career slam and seventh homer of the year.
Atlanta tacked on four more in the seventh.
Braves: Acuna was grimacing as he jogged to first in the seventh after aggravating something in his back while getting his fourth hit. After a brief conference, he stayed in the game but was replaced in the field for the bottom of the seventh by Charlie Culbertson. He said he expects to be good to go Sunday. “Of course, always, tomorrow and every day from here on out,” Acuna said through a translator.
Marlins: O’Brien was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans on Saturday because the Marlins placed OF Garrett Cooper on the 10-day injured list with a left hand contusion. The move with Cooper is retroactive to Wednesday.
Atlanta recalled LHP Sean Newcomb from Triple-A Gwinnett on Saturday, and optioned RHP Touki Toussaint to Gwinnett. Toussaint threw 76 pitches and got the win for Atlanta on Friday over the Marlins.
Soroka hit O’Brien with a pitch with two outs and the bases empty in the sixth inning, though no hysterics ensued. Tensions ran high between the teams on Friday when Atlanta starter Kevin Gausman was ejected for throwing a fastball behind Miami RHP Jose Urena — who was at the center of a storm last season when he hit Acuna and got suspended for six games.
Atlanta RHP Julio Teheran (2-4, 5.35) has lost each of his last three starts. He’ll face Miami RHP Pablo Lopez (2-4, 4.78) in the series finale Sunday.
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