ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Braves
were able to keep their winning streak alive almost in spite of Brandon Beachy
in his first two starts. But the right-hander played a big part in their 14th straight victory on Friday night.
Beachy, 14 months after undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery, allowed three hits in eight innings and the Braves defeated the Miami Marlins
5-0 at Turner Field before a crowd of 37,424.
The win left the Braves, who are 39-15 at home, one shy of the Atlanta record of 15 straight victories set in 2000. The Marlins have lost six in a row.
Beachy struck out six and walked one, drawing a standing ovation when he left the mound after fanning two in a perfect eighth inning. He threw 99 pitches, 66 of them strikes.
"He was very good," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We couldn't have asked for more."
"It felt good. It felt very good," Beachy said of his first win since early in June of 2012.
The only time Miami advanced a runner to second base against Beachy was in the sixth inning when pinch-hitter Juan Pierre dunked in a double to the opposite field.
"I commanded by fastball and changeup pretty good," Beachy said. "I still have room for a lot of improvement with my curveball and especially the slider. ... Hopefully I can piece it all together start by start."
The Braves gave Beachy an early cushion, connecting for three homers off Marlins starter Jacob Turner (3-4). Justin Upton and Chris Johnson went deep in the first inning and Brian McCann homered in the third.
"I thing that gave Beachy a chance to catch his breath a little bit and cruise on," Gonzalez said.
Beachy, who came in with a 9.00 ERA, gave up seven runs in 3 2/3 innings in his return against Colorado on July 29, but the Braves won that game in 10 innings. Then they won in 12 innings last Saturday when the right-hander looked better working 6 1/3 innings at Philadelphia.
Beachy allowed a leadoff single to Christian Yelich in the first inning, but shortstop Andrelton Simmons made a diving catch to turn a line drive by Jake Marisnick into a double play. The Marlins didn't have another base runner until Logan Morrison singled to open the fifth.
"It's a lot of fun to win," Beachy said. "Now we have to keep it going."
Upton started the Braves' four-run first inning by lining a 2-2 fastball from Turner into the left-field seats for his 22nd homer. Johnson, who leads the National League with a .338 average, followed a single and error by a smacking a 1-0 slider to left-center field for a three-run homer. It was his eighth home run of the season.
"Two good hitters and two bad pitches," Turner said.
Turner then came up and in with a fastball to Dan Uggla, who threw up his left arm to protect himself and reacted angrily when hit on the elbow. Order was restored quickly, but each team received a warning from home plate umpire Mike Estabrook.
"It might have looked bad, but it definitely wasn't intentional," Turner said. "I would never throw at someone's head."
McCann added to the Braves' lead with a leadoff home run in the third, picking on a 1-1 changeup and sending a drive just over the center field fence for his 17th home run of the season.
"I just didn't have good command of my fastball and that led to me throwing a couple other pitches in certain situations that maybe I (normally) wouldn't," said Turner, who worked five innings. "It's frustrating."
"They came out swinging the bats," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "Jacob made a couple of mistakes out over the plate and they made him pay."
NOTES: Braves RHP Tim Hudson, whose season ended when he suffered a broken ankle against the Mets in New York on July 24, made his first trip to Turner Field since the injury. "I've had a great, long career and I don't plan for it to be over," said the 38-year-old, who has a 205-111 record. ... C Rob Brantley, Miami's regular catcher to start the season, was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans, and veteran C Koyie Hill was brought up from the Pacific Coast League team. Brantley, 24, was batting .225. ... Yelich, who had been credited with three straight hits in his major league debut at Colorado on July 23, lost the third hit on Friday after a scoring review. That means Miami manager Mike Redmond is the only player in Marlins history to start a career with three straight hits. ... Braves RF Jason Heyward turned 24 on Friday and had two hits, including a double. ... LHP Alex Wood (2-2, 3.20 ERA) will start for the Braves on Saturday night against Marlins RHP Nathan Eovaldi (2-2, 3.19).
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