Braves miss chance to clinch NL East, lose 4-0 to Marlins

MIAMI — AP— Jesús Luzardo struck out 12 in six innings, Bryan De La Cruz hit a two-run homer and the Miami Marlins prevented Atlanta from clinching its fifth straight NL East title by beating the Braves 4-0 on Monday night.

After sweeping the rival Mets at home over the weekend, Atlanta arrived in Miami needing one win or a New York loss to wrap up the division crown and a first-round playoff bye.

But the Braves were unable to solve Luzardo or slow De La Cruz — and the Mets were rained out at home against Washington. New York is 1 1/2 games behind Atlanta heading into Tuesday’s doubleheader versus the last-place Nationals, while the Braves will play the second of three games at fourth-place Miami.

Dansby Swanson had two of Atlanta’s four hits, all off Luzardo (4-7). Braves sluggers Austin Riley and Matt Olson struck out three times each against the left-hander, who walked one in his first win since Aug. 7.

De La Cruz also doubled and singled for the Marlins. Jesús Sánchez doubled twice and singled as Miami snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Braves.

Atlanta starter Bryce Elder, who threw a shutout against Washington in his previous outing, was lifted after giving up four runs in five innings. Elder (2-4) allowed six hits, walked one and struck out five.

Swanson doubled leading off the sixth before Luzardo fanned Michael Harris II, Riley and Olson. It was Atlanta’s final hit, as relievers Jeff Brigham, Bryan Hoeing and Richard Bleier each tossed a perfect inning for Miami.

Run-scoring doubles from De La Cruz and Sánchez in the first gave the Marlins a 2-0 lead.

De La Cruz’s two-run shot in the third made it 4-0. The second-year outfielder drove Elder’s sinker over the wall in center for his 13th homer this season.

DIFFERENT SITUATION

When Elder made his previous start in Miami on Aug. 14, he was a one-day call-up from Triple-A to take the 27th roster spot for the doubleheader. Now, he could figure in Atlanta’s postseason plans after his third outing since being recalled a fifth time Sept. 19.

FAMILIAR HONOR

Harris accomplished in September what he had previously done in June and August. The 21-year-old center fielder earned his third NL rookie of the month award. Harris hit .324 and finished with six homers and 19 RBI in September.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Braves: 2B Ozzie Albies (right pinkie fracture) traveled with the club to Miami, where he will continue his rehab.

Marlins: SS Miguel Rojas will undergo surgery to repair cartilage damage in his right wrist Wednesday.

UP NEXT

The Braves had not announced a starter for the middle game of the series Tuesday, while the Marlins will go with LHP Braxton Garrett (3-6, 3.56).

Categories: Sports – ATL Braves, Sports – Local Sports News