Mike Foltynewicz responded to Giancarlo Stanton’s MLB-leading 36th home run by throwing a career-high 11 strikeouts, as the Braves’ offense ignited for seven runs to beat the Marlins, 7-2, on Saturday night at SunTrust Park.
“I kept the team in it and I knew that they would break out at the end, which it seems like they always do,” Foltynewicz said. “Overall, it was a great team win and I am very excited for it.”
Freddie Freeman got the Braves offense started as he got the first of his four RBIs with a single in the sixth inning. He broke the game open with a three-run homer in the seventh, finishing 2-for-4 on the night. He reached 20 home runs for the fifth time in his career.
“It feels good and I have been trying to be more consistent since the All-Star break,” Freeman said. “It hasn’t been what I wanted, but I am starting to feel a little bit better with multi-hit games in three of the last four.”
The Marlins responded in the eighth inning with an RBI double from Stanton. Miami also loaded the bases in the ninth, before Braves closer Arodys Vizcaino shut the door to secure Foltynewicz’s 10th win.
Foltynewicz recorded his second game with at least 10 strikeouts this season; the first was against the Reds on June 2. He is 5-2 with a 3.48 ERA in nine starts at SunTrust Park.”
Marlins manager Don Mattingly noted that Foltynewicz was on his game, but he also felt he benefited from a favorable strike zone from home-plate umpire Adam Hamari.
“Their guy was good early, for sure,” Mattingly said. “He’s 97-98 [mph], and he was good. And that zone was pretty favorable tonight for him. He probably got six to 10 balls off the plate. When a guy is throwing 98, there’s not a whole lot you’re going to do with that, when you’re getting that pitch.”
The Marlins got a solid start from Dan Straily, who allowed two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings. However, he ran into trouble and turned it over to the bullpen, which gave up five earned runs. Straily has lost four straight games and has a 6.10 ERA in his last 20 2/3 innings.
Miami had miscues in Atlanta’s two-run sixth inning. Dee Gordon wasn’t at second base in time on Ender Inciarte’s steal of second, and on a pickoff attempt of Freeman, first baseman Tomas Telis dropped the ball. Freeman had an RBI single in the inning, scoring Inciarte, and Nick Markakis delivered an RBI double.
“It’s still up to me to get Markakis out,” Straily said. “It’s still up to me to get Freddie out, no matter what else happens. I’m the one who let go of the pitch that allowed the hits. It’s frustrating not being able to get those guys out in those situations.”
After Stanton gave the Marlins a brief lead, the Braves got two runs in the sixth inning as Freeman drove in Inciarte with a single. Markakis followed with a ringing double over center fielder Christian Yelich’s head to give the Braves the lead.
“He [Straily] had been rough on us in the past,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “It was good for [those] guys to come roaring back and get the runs back.”
Mattingly went to relievers Hunter Cervenka and Dustin McGowan with a one-run deficit in the seventh inning. Things didn’t end well as Cervenka walked three Braves and issued a two-run single to Brandon Phillips. A batter later, McGowan served a three-run homer to Freeman that proved insurmountable for the Marlins.
Foltynewicz became the first Braves pitcher since Julio Teheran, on May 24, 2016, to record at least 11 strikeouts without allowing a walk.
Lucas Sims makes his second career start against Miami as the series wraps in Sunday’s 12:35 p.m. CT matinee at SunTrust Park. Sims was solid in his MLB debut against the Dodgers, giving up three runs in six innings.