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Atlanta Braves blank Miami Marlins for fifth straight win

Aug 17, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Sandy Alcantara (22) delivers a pitch in the 1st inning against the Atlanta Braves at loanDepot park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 17, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Sandy Alcantara (22) delivers a pitch in the 1st inning against the Atlanta Braves at loanDepot park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Jorge Soler hit a go-ahead single in the eighth inning, leading the first-place Atlanta Braves to a 2-0 win over the host Miami Marlins on Tuesday night.

Austin Riley added a 395-foot home run in the ninth to pad Atlanta’s lead. It was his 26th homer of the season.

The Braves, who have won five straight games and 10 of 12, used five pitchers to nail down the shutout. That included Will Smith, who earned his 26th save in 30 chances.

Braves right-hander Huascar Ynoa took a no-decision as he pitched in the majors for the first time since he punched a dugout bench and broke his pitching hand on May 16. He allowed just three hits and one walk in 5 1/3 innings, striking out four.

Tyler Matzek got two key outs in the sixth to get Ynoa out of a jam. The Braves then got one scoreless inning each from Chris Martin, Luke Jackson and Smith.

Miami starter Sandy Alcantara (7-11) took a tough-luck loss. Entering the eighth, he had a streak of 14 consecutive scoreless innings, spread out over two games.

But, after Soler’s RBI single, Alcantara’s final line over eight innings included seven strikeouts, five hits, one walk and one run.

After little action in the first five innings, Atlanta threatened in the sixth. Ynoa dribbled an infield single, went to second on a groundout and took third on Freddie Freeman’s two-out single to left. But Riley’s grounder to shortstop ended the frame.

Miami had a similar rally in the bottom of the sixth, loading the bases with one out on singles by Bryan De La Cruz, Miguel Rojas and Isan Diaz. Alcantara, the lead runner after a fielder’s choice bunt, was held at third on Diaz’s single to center.

Matzek got Lewis Brinson on a foul pop for the second out as shortstop Dansby Swanson made a stellar sliding catch. Matzek then struck out rookie Jesus Sanchez on a 1-2 slider in the dirt, ending the threat.

Atlanta broke through in the eighth. With one out and none on, pinch-hitter Abraham Almonte fell behind in the count 1-2, but he didn’t chase the next three pitches and drew a walk. Almonte stole second and went to third on a bounced wild pitch.

Soler, on a 1-2 pitch, went the other way with an RBI single to right, and Miami never recovered.

–Field Level Media