Thompson earns 1st major league win, Marlins beat Braves 4-2

MLB

MIAMI (AP)

Zach Thompson pitched five scoreless inning and earned his first major league win, leading the Miami Marlins to a 4-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday.

Adam Duvall and Lewin Diaz hit solo homers for Miami, which won its third straight overall and second straight over the Braves to claim its first home series against Atlanta since Oct. 1, 2017.

”It’s kind of what we needed after that last trip to be able to come home and play well. It’s important for us to get some momentum,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said of his club’s 1-9 road trip that preceded the current homestand. ”Hopefully, we’re able to close these guys out (Sunday). We can’t afford to stop.”

Diaz hit his first major league homer, a pinch-hit shot to start the fifth inning.

Thompson (1-1) started the planned bullpen game and limited Atlanta to three hits, striking out six in a longer-than-expected outing.

”I don’t know if it’s truly hit me yet,” Thompson said. ”I’m sure it will shortly.”

The 27-year-old right-hander pumped his fist after his outing-ending strike out of Ronald Acuna in the fifth.

”Acuna is an amazing player,” Thompson said. ”Being able to shut them down that last inning was a really important factor for me and I think my emotions showed it.”

In addition to the win, Thompson got his first major league hit when he singled in the second.

Freddie Freeman hit his 15th homer, a two-run shot against reliever Anthony Bass in the eighth, as the Braves lost their fourth straight.

”We’ve got to continue to prepare and play hard, you have to handle it,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. ”We’ve been through this all year, where we have to handle tough situations and these guys have.”

The Marlins scored in the first without a hit. Jazz Chisholm walked, advanced two bases on a groundout and wild pitch and raced home on Jesus Aguilar’s sacrifice fly.

Duvall’s leadoff homer in the fourth put Miami ahead 2-0. Duvall drove Atlanta starter Max Fried’s 0-2 pitch into the walkway above left center for his 12th home run of the season.

Fried (3-4) was lifted after six innings. The left-hander allowed three runs, five hits, struck out four and walked two. He remains winless against Miami in eight career starts.

Anthony Bender relieved Thompson and pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings, and Richard Bleier got the final out in the seventh. Dylan Floro closed it with a perfect ninth for his second save in five chances.

Aguilar’s RBI single in the eighth gave Miami its final margin.

”With these guys, you know they’re going to keep coming at some point,” Mattingly said. ”When they break out, they break out big. Any run you can get, you feel better about.”

Acuna singled before Freeman’s homer and has reached base 21 consecutive games.

MIGHTY THOMPSON AT THE PLATE:

A soft liner to right that fell in front of Acuna enabled Thompson to not only reflect on his pitching performance, but the base hit.

”That was really cool,” Thompson said. ”Swung a bat I think two days ago for the first time in years.”

ON THE ROAD AGAIN:

Even after the Marlins end their six-game homestand Sunday, the total through 65 games still shows a road tilt. Once they finish the series with the Braves, the Marlins will have completed 30 home games, compared to 35 on the road. The road slant is based on the 10 games played in each of Miami’s three previous trips. The Marlins’ next road trip beginning Monday will feature six games and two stops.

”The way our schedule lined up, we had those three really long road trips back to back to back so you kind of feel you’re constantly on the road,” Miami infielder Jon Berti said. ”It’s been a nice change of pace to be back home in a familiar ballpark and a place we like to play.”

TRAINER’S ROOM:

Marlins: LHP Trevor Rogers (undisclosed injury) was placed on the 10-day injured list and is expected to be recalled before his next scheduled start on Tuesday.

UP NEXT:

LHP Drew Smily (2-3, 5.82) will start the series finale for the Braves on Sunday, while the Marlins will go with RHP Pablo Lopez (2-3, 2.76).

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

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