ATLANTA (AP) A month ago, Jarred Cosart was a struggling pitcher on a team out of playoff contention. Now, he is trying to help Miami inch closer in the wild-card race.
Cosart pitched seven effective innings, and the Marlins beat the Atlanta Braves 4-0 on Saturday night to stop a three-game losing streak.
Cosart (3-1) allowed seven hits, struck out five and walked one. The right-hander, who was acquired in a July 31 trade with Houston, is 3-0 with a sparkling 0.65 ERA in his last four starts.
”This was exactly what we needed,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. ”Some guys need that adrenaline. He wants it. He wants to help us get to the playoffs.”
Cosart struggled in July, giving up 19 runs in 21 1-3 innings, but he said the trade to Miami has energized him.
”I took it as a slap in the face when I got traded from one of the worst organizations in baseball the last three years,” he said. ”No disrespect to the Astros, but hopefully one day I can make them feel like they got the bad end of that trade.”
Donovan Solano hit a solo homer in the first and finished with three hits for Miami, which is 8-7 against Atlanta this year. Giancarlo Stanton had two hits and drove in a run.
Atlanta had won three in a row. Aaron Harang (10-9) yielded four runs, three earned, and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings.
The Braves were one game out in the wild-card race at the start of the day.
Atlanta threatened in the eighth inning, loading the bases with one out. But A.J. Ramos struck out Andrelton Simmons and Mike Dunn retired Freddie Freeman on a groundout to first, preserving Miami’s 4-0 lead.
Steve Cishek then got three outs for the Marlins, completing the nine-hitter.
Cosart has provided a boost for the sagging Marlins since the trade. On Saturday, he induced three double plays to prevent the Braves from putting a rally together.
Leading 4-0 in the sixth, Cosart faced his first serious jam of the night. The Braves put runners on first and second with one out, but Cosart struck out Simmons and got Freeman to ground to second to end the threat.
”It’s not often you see a guy, especially a starter, that throws that many cutters,” Braves third baseman Chris Johnson said. ”He was good at it, working it inside, outside. It’s something we’ve got to get used to, him being in our division now, and work out a plan for the cutter.”
Stanton singled in Christian Yelich to make it 2-0 in the third, and Yelich scored again on Solano’s base hit in the fifth. Jarrod Saltalamacchia scored the fourth run on a wild pitch in the sixth.
Cosart retired 10 straight after giving up a single to Jason Heyward to lead off the game. Four of those came on strikeouts, with Cosart striking out the side in the second.
Marlins: Reliever Dan Jennings made his fourth minor league appearance on Friday since being diagnosed with a concussion on Aug. 8, pitching two scoreless innings. He has pitched seven scoreless innings in four rehab games. … Reliever Bryan Morris will rejoin the team when it returns to Miami following the series. He has a strained groin but will not be placed on the disabled list.
Braves: Reliever Shae Simmons said before the game he has not started throwing off flat ground. He has been on the disabled list since July 27 with a strained right shoulder. It does not appear he will return this season.
The Braves and Marlins wrap up their three-game set on Sunday. Braves starter Alex Wood (9-10) has given up just 10 runs in his last six starts for a 2.23 ERA. Nathan Eovaldi (6-9) will take the mound for the Marlins. Eovaldi has faced the Braves four times already this season, limiting them to three runs in 21 innings in his first three starts before being reached for five runs in seven innings in a losing effort on July 23.
SEPTEMBER CAN MEAN OCTOBER
The last two seasons, the five teams in playoff position in the National League on Sept. 1 have been the five teams to qualify for the postseason. The last team not to make the postseason when in position at the beginning of September was the 2011 Braves, who lost their final five regular-season games. Both the Braves and Marlins currently trail the Cardinals and Giants for the two NL wild cards.
FEELING TURNER FIELD
Solano has eight career home runs in 280 games with the Marlins. Three have come at Turner Field and seven of the eight have been away from home.
PENNY GETTING A START
Redmond said veteran Brad Penny will start Tuesday against the Mets. It will be Penny’s third start and fifth appearance since Miami brought him up from Triple-A in August.