Brandon Phillips fueled a ninth-inning rally against AJ Ramos, then induced further damage off the Marlins’ closer with a 10th-inning walk-off single that enabled the Braves to overcome a five-run fifth inning and claim a 8-7 win Saturday afternoon at SunTrust Park.
Phillips’ game-ending line-drive single to center completed a determined comeback generated by the Braves, who opened the bottom of the 10th with a single by Johan Camargo, who advanced to second base on Julio Teheran’s sacrifice bunt. When Ender Inciarte followed with a comebacker, Ramos’ attempt to catch Camargo too far off second base sailed into center field, giving the Braves two on with one out. Phillips then produced his seventh career game-ending RBI, first since 2013.
“Any time you win, it feels good, it feels the same to me,” said Phillips, who is enjoying his first season with his hometown team. “But for myself, my first walk-off win as a Brave, it really means a lot, playing in front of my family and friends. It just shows our grind as a team. We’re never out of any game.”
In the ninth inning, Ramos said he elevated a slider to Phillips. In the 10th, a two-seam fastball didn’t bite enough, and Phillips laced it into center to end the game.
“The two-seam, I pulled it, and it was down the middle,” Ramos said. “It was down, but he was looking for it. I had a feeling he knew it was coming. I don’t care if he did or not. If I execute that pitch, he doesn’t do anything with it. It was down the middle, and he just stayed with it and hit it up the middle.”
Braves starter Jaime Garcia faced one more than the minimum through the first four innings and had not allowed more than four runs during any of his previous 12 starts this season. But things got weird during Miami’s five-run fifth inning, which was fueled by Tyler Moore drilling an 0-2 curveball over the left-field wall for a two-run homer. After Giancarlo Stanton drew an intentional walk, Christian Yelich capped the uprising by hitting a two-run double to right field.
“We didn’t tack on any runs,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “You can say, ‘Well, we scored seven.’ But we scored seven in two innings and really didn’t score the rest of the game.”
Matt Adams paced the Braves with a three-hit, four-RBI game that began with a two-out RBI double in the first and included a two-run homer in the third against Marlins starter Jeff Locke, who was lifted after just four innings.
Tyler Flowers opened the home half of the sixth with a shot that traveled a Statcast-projected 434 feet — the third-longest homer hit thus far at SunTrust Park. Four batters later, Camargo delivered an RBI single that cut the Braves’ deficit to two runs and put runners at the corners for pinch-hitter Matt Kemp, who lined out to right field in his first appearance since tweaking his left hamstring on Wednesday. Kemp’s liner wasn’t deep enough to score Danny Santana.
Phillips opened the ninth with a double off the left-center-field wall, and Nick Markakis added to Ramos’ problems when he hit a game-tying double that bounced off the first-base bag and landed down the right-field line. But the Marlins closer escaped further damage when he ended the threat with consecutive strikeouts, including one of Dansby Swanson to conclude a 10-pitch at-bat.
“From this, you’ve got to keep working and know that you can get the job done,” said Ramos, who had converted his first nine save opportunities. “The bullpen has been solid, until today. Guys have bad games. They were putting good swings on balls. They get paid to. They did a good job. We just weren’t good enough tonight.”
It looked like Marlins right-hander Kyle Barraclough was going to work a perfect seventh inning when Flowers lofted a two-out soft fly ball (78.1-mph exit velocity, per Statcast™). But Yelich got a bad read and ultimately proved unsuccessful when he attempted to recover with a diving catch attempt. Adams then followed with an RBI double to cap his 23rd career three-hit game, but the first of which included three extra-base hits.
Mike Foltynewicz will take the mound for the finale of this three-game set on Sunday. Foltynewicz had thrown 14 consecutive scoreless innings before allowing a season-high eight runs over just 3 1/3 frames on Tuesday at Nationals Park.