Adam Conley goes eight strong innings as Marlins shut out Braves
MIAMI (AP) -- Adam Conley walked off the mound for the final time in the eighth inning Wednesday with a string of zeroes behind him.
When he saw manager Don Mattingly applauding his performance from the dugout, Conley began to clap too.
Both had reason to cheer following the left-hander's longest outing yet. Conley pitched eight innings and the Miami Marlins broke the Atlanta Braves' six-game winning streak Wednesday with a 3-0 victory.
Conley (4-4) chose the right day to eat up a lot of innings, because three relievers in the Marlins' overtaxed bullpen were unavailable.
"I don't know if he realized it or not," Mattingly said. "If that's the case, I'll just tell all of them we need them to do that. But that was exactly what we needed. We honestly could use another one of these tomorrow."
Conley's eight-inning outing was a career high in his 26th start, and the longest by a Miami starter this year.
"I'm just trying to be efficient and get as deep as I can," he said. "I haven't been very happy with coming out of the game with two out in the sixth."
Justin Bour hit a two-run homer for the Marlins. They defeated the last-place Braves for only the second time in eight meetings this year, and for the first time in five games in Miami.
"Any game you get a chance to win is absolutely important," Conley said, "but especially so for us today, to save some of our bullpen and to win against a division team that has been having success against us."
Conley allowed four hits and one walk and threw 114 pitches to earn his first victory since May 16. The left-hander gave up only one hit in his previous start, but wasn't involved in the decision.
"The kid was on today," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "We didn't have a lot of real good swings on him, and we never threatened a lot. He was using his fastball a lot, and we just had a hard time getting to him."
Conley was helped by two fine plays by shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, and by A.J. Ramos, who gave up a pair of two-out singles in the ninth but earned his 32nd consecutive save, including 23 this year.
The Braves totaled six hits and were shut out for the eighth time.
John Gant (1-2), making his third career start, gave up three runs in 5 2/3 innings. All of the runs against the right-hander scored in the second inning before he regrouped to retire 12 in a row.
The Marlins got their first look at Gant and his odd delivery -- he high-steps once with his left leg before starting into his motion. They adjusted quickly, bunching five consecutive hits to begin the second inning.
Marcell Ozuna led off with a stand-up triple, Bour followed with a homer, and an RBI single by Jeff Mathis made it 3-0.
"I missed too many spots in that second inning, and I paid for it," Gant said.
Marlins OF Giancarlo Stanton was given the day off after going 0 for 5 Tuesday, which dropped his average to .211. Ichiro Suzuki started his third game in a row and singled in the second for his 2,983rd hit.
Braves RHP Tyrell Jenkins pitched around a single in a scoreless eighth in his major league debut.
"My heart was beating through my chest," Jenkins said. "It has been awhile since I've thrown, so I wanted to make sure I wasn't going to hurt anybody."
When a teammate tossed the ball into the stands without thinking at the end of the inning, the Braves dugout hollered to get it back, and a fan returned the souvenir.
Braves rookie OF Mallex Smith is expected to be sidelined eight to 10 weeks with a broken left thumb after being hit by a pitch from the Mets' Anthony Bastardo. Smith was placed on the disabled list retroactive to Monday, and OF Emilio Bonifacio was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett.
The Marlins begin a four-game series Thursday against the first-place Chicago Cubs, with LHP Wei-Yin Chen (4-2, 5.22) scheduled to face LHP Jon Lester (9-3, 2.06) in the opener. Miami went 3-3 against Chicago last year.
The Braves begin an 11-game homestand Thursday when RHP Matt Wisler (3-7, 4.23) starts against Mets RHP Matt Harvey (4-9, 4.76).