Posted: 10:20 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, 2013
The Braves shut out the Marlins tonight for their sixth win in a row behind monster home runs from Juan Francisco and Evan Gattis, as well as stellar pitching from Mike Minor. Gattis and Francisco each hit home runs as part of a six run sixth inning, as the Braves' offense jumped all over Miami pitching for 8 runs. Braves pitching, led by Minor, shut out Miami on the evening, allowing only 7 hits on the evening.
Atlanta's offense started out promisingly, as the Braves put two men on in 3 of the first 4 innings, but two double plays and some ill-timed strikeouts kept the Braves off the board early. That changed in the top of the 5th. Jordan Schafer led off the inning with a bunt single - one of four hits he had on the evening filling in for B.J. Upton - and promptly stole second. After Mike Minor struck out, Andrelton Simmons drove in Schafer with a roped single to right. Jason Heyward followed that up with a walk to put runners on first and second. Justin Upton flew out for the second out of the inning, bringing up Evan Gattis. Gattis spat on a changeup in the dirt before turning on an inside fastball from Marlins starter Alex Sanabia and launching it into the bar in left field to make the score 4-0. Dan Uggla then drew a walk on a full count, bringing Juan Francisco to the plate. Francisco got a first pitch fastball and utterly obliterated it to dead center field. His blast hit off the upper facade at Marlins park; ESPN estimated it at 459 feet. Fat Juan's blast made it 6-0 and was the end of the evening for Alex Sanabia.
Atlanta would add another run in the 6th when Schafer led off the inning with a double and scored two batters later on an Andrelton Simmons' sacrifice fly. The Braves struck for the final time in the 8th inning, when Chris Johnson plated Dan Uggla on an RBI single to make it 8-0.
Mike Minor picked up the win for the Braves, throwing 5.2 scoreless frames. Minor allowed 5 hits and 1 walk, while managing to strike out 4 Marlins. Cory Gearrin pitched 1.1 hitless innings with 2 punchouts behind Minor, and Anthony Varvaro did the rest, blanking the Marlins over the game's final two frames.
For Minor, it was his second win in as many starts on the young season.
The Braves notched 13 hits against Marlins pitching on the evening, led by Schafer's four. Juan Francisco had himself a three hit game, while Evan Gattis and Chris Johnson chipped in two apiece.
The Braves swept their second series in a row, and improved their league-best record to 8-1.
Atlanta is off tomorrow before traveling to Washington for a 3 game series with the second place Nationals. Julio Teheran, Tim Hudson, and Paul Maholm are expected to start those three games for Atlanta.