Pablo Lopez’s strong start not enough, Marlins fall to Braves 3-1

MIAMI (AP) — Attempting to score from first base on a double with the game tied in the 10th inning, pinch-runner Max Fried had a good excuse for stumbling as he rounded third: He’s a relief pitcher.

The speedy Fried didn’t let that stop him. He put the Atlanta Braves ahead to stay Sunday by sliding across the plate headfirst , and they beat the Miami Marlins 3-1 to complete a three-game series sweep.

Fried took off when Ender Inciarte faked a bunt and instead slapped an opposite-field RBI double down the line.

“Trust me, that wasn’t my intention to go head first,” Fried said. “I came around third and kind of stuttered a little bit — just kind of lost my footing, and figured the only way I was making it to home plate was launching myself forward. There wasn’t a lot of thinking. It took me back to high school.”

Nick Markakis’ home run gave Atlanta a 1-0 lead in the seventh, but the Marlins tied it with three consecutive singles in the eighth.

Tayron Guerrero (1-1) walked pinch-hitter Josh Donaldson to start the 10th. Inciarte then squared to bunt but instead shot a grounder into the left-field corner, and then watched Fried come all the way around.

“Amazing,” Inciarte said. “He’s such a competitive guy.”

Fried slid home safely when catcher Chad Wallach couldn’t handle the relay throw on a short hop from Miguel Rojas.

“If the throw’s there, we’ve got him,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.

Charlie Culberson followed with a sacrifice fly.

Five Atlanta pitchers combined on a six-hitter. Luke Jackson pitched around a 10th-inning double by Peter O’Brien that deflected off the roof for his second save in three opportunities.

The Braves completed their third series sweep of the season and their 23rd sweep of the Marlins in the 27-season history between teams. The Braves improved to 44-23 at Marlins Park.

Pablo Lopez allowed three hits and no runs in six innings for the Marlins (9-24), who have the worst record in the majors.

“Certain games are more frustrating than others honestly,” Mattingly said. “There are games that you feel like you pitch well or you played well and you get beat, and it’s easier to deal with.”

Atlanta’s Julio Teheran, who had lost three consecutive starts, allowed only two hits in six scoreless innings. The Marlins tied it in the eighth on consecutive singles by pinch-hitter Jon Berti, Martin Prado and Brian Anderson against Josh Tomlin (1-0).

The game’s first run scored when Markakis pulled an 0-2 fastball against Drew Steckenrider for a homer leading off the seventh. Markakis also walked twice and singled to hike his average to .333.

SITTING OUT

Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. was available but sat out after tweaking his back Saturday, when he tied a career high with four hits.

DEFLECTED DOUBLE

O’Brien’s high drive in the 10th looked like a possible homer before it hit the retractable roof and dropped in front of left fielder Culberson.

“I thought it had a chance,” O’Brien said. “I got it pretty good, I just hit it straight up.”

MORE ROOF NEWS

The roof was closed for the 1:10 p.m. start, defusing debate about shadows during day games. Two weeks ago the Washington Nationals complained the mix of shade and sun made for dangerously bad visibility at Marlins Park.

GOPHER BALLS

Steckenrider has a 6.75 ERA and has allowed six homers in 13 1/3 innings.

“It’s about what’s causing you to miss spots,” Mattingly said. “It’s not about, ‘Don’t throw a homer.'”

UP NEXT

Braves: RHP Kevin Gausman (1-2, 4.83) will start on two days’ rest Monday night at the Dodgers. Gausman threw 28 pitches before being ejected in the second inning Friday for throwing at the Marlins’ Jose Ureña.

“I’m getting that ‘back in the day’ action — the three-man rotation,” Gausman said. “It’s a little weird.”

Marlins: RHP Sandy Alcantara (1-3, 4.86) is scheduled to pitch when Miami begins a seven-game trip Monday night at the Cubs. Alcantara has allowed 18 earned runs this year, 12 of them in the third inning.