For a team that’s had to reinvent itself time and time again this season the Braves’ offense has found recent solace in the capable — and bare — hands of Evan Gattis. The difference in the first two games of the series against the Marlins and the better part of the time since he returned from Triple-A Gwinnett is the Braves put runners on base for him. Gattis revved up the Braves’ offense for the second consecutive game against the Marlins with run-scoring hits in each of his first two at-bats to start the Braves on course for a 4-3 victory. Gattis doubled to left center off Tom Koehler in the first inning to give him six extra-base hits in seven games since his minor-league tune-up. Gattis went 2-for-5 on Tuesday to make him 9-for-26 (.346) with three doubles three home runs and seven RBIs in seven games in September. Freddie Freeman and Chris Johnson added two hits apiece as the Braves’ offense continued to produce enough runs to complement quality pitching in a 2-0 start to the series. Julio Teheran settled back in after a 10-game layoff and a three-run first inning to shut down the Marlins’ lineup. He wouldn’t have walked off a winner moving to 12-7 if not for the handiwork of Luis Ayala who struck out Giancarlo Stanton on three pitches to leave the bases loaded in the seventh inning. Craig Kimbrel gave up a one-out double in the ninth but walked off with his 46th save and 36th consecutive after Brian McCann caught the runner trying to advance on a pitch that got past McCann and hit the backstop before quickly bouncing back to McCann. The Braves now 2-3 on this trip reduced the magic number to seven. Any combination of Braves’ wins and Nationals’ losses totaling seven assures the Braves of their first National League East title since 2005. The Braves lead the season series 12-5 against the Marlins including 7-1 at Marlins Park. Teheran was pitching for the first time since outdueling Jose Fernandez on Aug. 30 at Turner Field taking some extra rest the Braves prescribed before heading into the playoffs. Teheran needed a time through the order to get on track. He gave up two runs on a couple of bloop hits to center field a walk and a rope down the left-field line by Stanton who doubled in his first at-bat back in the Marlins lineup since Saturday. Then the Marlins took the lead 3-2 on a play that should have ended the inning after shortstop Andrelton Simmons threw wide to first on a double play he turns in his sleep.
Braves hold off Marlins 4-3 after a late-game chase
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Sep 11