Marlins flummoxed by Braves once more in loss in Atlanta

ATLANTA (AP) — Manager Don Mattingly is hardly inspired by the job he’s done recently to prepare the Miami Marlins.

"We’re having trouble in different areas," he said. "We’ve got to get ready (to face) their hitters better. We’ve got to get ready for their pitchers better, and that comes back to me."

The Marlins blew a three-run lead and lost their third straight game, 8-5 to the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night.

Miami, which began the day a half-game ahead of two teams in the NL wild-card race, has allowed 25 runs and scored just 13 runs off 37 hits in the last three games. The Marlins are 2-7 against Atlanta this year.

Braves 8, Marlins 5

The Braves improved to just 12-32 at Turner Field. They have the NL’s worst overall record, the majors’ worst home record and the least productive offense in the big leagues, but they took a 6-3 lead in the sixth.

"I just feel like we’re not getting prepared somewhere properly," Mattingly said. "I feel like I’m missing something with this."

Pinch-hitter Brandon Snyder had two RBIs in a four-run sixth inning for Atlanta.

Jeff Francoeur’s double chased Marlins starter Wei-Yin Chen, and Mike Dunn gave up Erick Aybar’s RBI infield single, Snyder’s two-run triple and Chase d’Arnaud’s RBI single.

Chen (4-3) allowed eight hits, four runs, two walks and struck out two in 5 1/3 innings. The left-hander has a 7.27 ERA over his last five starts.

Tyler Flowers’ RBI double in the seventh pushed the lead to 7-3. Ichiro Suzuki’s pinch-hit sacrifice fly in the eighth made it 7-4, and d’Arnaud’s RBI double in the eighth put Atlanta up 8-4.

Dario Alvarez (2-1) earned the win after walking one, striking out one and throwing a wild pitch in two-thirds of the sixth.

The Marlins went ahead 3-0 in the second on Justin Bour’s 15th homer, a three-run shot off Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz.

Ichiro Suzuki joins 3,000 hit club

"It doesn’t matter what the situation is," Bour said. "It’s just important that everyone takes their every single at-bat seriously and doesn’t throw them away. Because you never know with this offense we have when a small at-bat could turn into something big."

Following a 1-hour, 8-minute rain delay in the third, the Braves cut the lead to 3-2 on Freddie Freeman’s RBI triple and Nick Markakis’ RBI single.

Tyrell Jenkins, the second Atlanta pitcher, walked the bases loaded but struck out J.T. Realmuto to keep the Marlins scoreless in the fifth.

Foltynewicz, in his first start since May 30 after going on the disabled list with right elbow soreness, gave up two hits, two walks, three runs — two earned — and struck out two in three innings.

RODNEY ON THE WAY

Mattingly will wait until Friday to announce how he will use newly acquired closer Fernando Rodney.

Making a push to stay near the top of the NL wild-card race, the Marlins traded a minor league pitcher to get Rodney from San Diego.

Current Marlins closer A.J. Ramos has converted straight 33 saves opportunities since last season, but Mattingly wouldn’t say for sure who will have the role.

Rodney, whose 253 career saves are fifth-most among active pitchers, is expected to join the team Friday.

YOU’RE OUTTA HERE

After Arodys Vizcaino issued a pair of two-out walks in the ninth, Flowers was ejected by home plate umpire Larry Vanover for arguing balls and strikes and was replaced by A.J. Pierzynski.

Adeiny Hechavarria’s RBI single chased Vizcaino — the Atlanta closer pitching in a non-save situation — and Cabrera retired pinch-hitter Cole Gillespie on a flyout for his first career save.

"It was too eventful for me there at the end," interim Braves manager Brian Snitker said, "but we won the game."

UP NEXT

Marlins: LHP Justin Nicolino (2-4, 5.17) will be called up from Triple-A New Orleans to start Friday night. He was demoted after allowing five runs over 4 2/3 innings June 15 against San Diego.

Braves: RHP Julio Teheran (3-7) has a 2.46 ERA, seventh-best in the NL. He is 5-3 with a 2.87 ERA in 13 career starts against the Marlins.