Bullpen struggles continue as Marlins lose 4th straight
MIAMI (AP) — Tyler Flowers has been hitting the ball hard. On Friday night, it paid off with his first home run.
Flowers drove in four runs to help the Atlanta Braves end a six-game losing streak by beating the Miami Marlins 8-4.
“He’s been swinging that bat really well. All season, really,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said.
Flowers and Brandon Phillips each hit two-run singles during a six-run burst in the seventh inning that made it 8-1.
Mike Foltynewicz (1-4) allowed one run in six innings.
“This will be a good game for him to build on for the future,” Snitker said. “It should boost his confidence and he broke his egg, too. Now he’s got a win.”
J.T. Realmuto, Justin Bour and Derek Dietrich hit home runs for the Marlins, who have lost four straight.
“It’s a tough time and it’s going to test us,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “Are we going to be tough or are we going to cave into it? It’s real easy time to cave in and just say, `Things are going to go bad.’
“But that’s not the way for us to approach it if we’re going to go anywhere. It’s part of us growing up and continuing to play no matter the circumstances. It’s a time you find who you are,” he said.
Jose Urena (1-1) gave up two runs in six innings.
Atlanta’s Matt Kemp singled in the second to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. He is batting .358 (19 for 53) during the string.
Flowers hit a two-run shot in the second to give the Braves the early lead.
“It was either going to be a heater or a slider, I was banking on the heater,” Flowers said. “I wasn’t sure how I hit it. I’m still not. I don’t know if it had backspin, topspin or what. I knew I hit it hard.”
Bour hit his sixth homer in the fourth, but Foltynewicz only allowed one hit over the next 10 batters following the home run.
“If you leave any ball over the plate, they’re going to put it over the fence,” Foltynewicz said. “It was a big comeback game for me. I just wanted to do well and just get a little streak of ourselves going.”
Marlins reliever Brad Ziegler gave up four runs in the seventh while getting just one out.
“Tonight, it didn’t work out,” Ziegler said. “I feel tomorrow I can go out and throw the same pitches and it’s a two-hopper right to the shortstop and an easy double play. It’s the way it goes sometimes.”
Kyle Barraclough’s balk and third baseman Derek Dietrich’s error helped the Braves. Flowers, who led off the seventh by getting hit by a pitch, singled to cap the big inning.
“We just couldn’t get out of that one,” Mattingly said.
Realmuto hit a two-run homer in the seventh and Dietrich homered in the ninth.
INF Mike Aviles had his contract selected from Triple-A New Orleans while C Tomas Telis was optioned. INF Yefri Perez was designated for assignment and RHP Joe Gunkel was outrighted to Double-A Jacksonville.
Phillips has 901 RBIs in his career, 15th among active players.
Marlins: LHP Wei-Yin Chen (elbow) could return as early as next week. “He came in yesterday after his bullpen and he felt good and we’ll just make sure that continues,” Mattingly said. “We’re feeling pretty positive about Wei-Yin with the way he’s been feeling. I think he’s been positive with the way he’s feeling so I think we’re getting there.” … INF Miguel Rojas (fractured right thumb) had surgery and is not eligible to be reinstated from the 60-day disabled list until July.
Braves: RHP Julio Teheran (2-3, 4.69 ERA) will start the second game of the series on Saturday. He went 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in three starts against the Marlins last season.
Marlins: RHP Edinson Volquez (0-4, 4.71) is expected to be reinstated from the 10-day disabled list due to a blister on his right thumb and take the mound for his first start since May 2 against Tampa Bay.