Miami Marlins’ rally for naught as Atlanta Braves come back in ninth to take series

The Miami Marlins were one out away from an improbable series win over the Atlanta Braves.

And then Marcell Ozuna, down to his final strike, changed everything.

Ozuna lifted an 0-2 slider from Tanner Scott well below the strike zone a projected 409 feet to left-center field for a go-ahead three-run home run to send the Marlins to a 9-7 loss to the Braves on Sunday at loanDepot park.

“I threw a bad pitch,” Scott said. “It all falls on me. ... It’s my mistake.”

The Marlins fall to 3-13. The Braves improve to 9-5.

Miami dropped the series opener 8-1 on Friday before tying the series with a 5-1 win on Saturday.

Ozuna’s late home run upended a Marlins rally in which Miami scored six unanswered runs to take a late lead.

The Marlins trailed Atlanta 5-1 entering the bottom of the fourth inning, with the team’s lone run to that point coming on a Bryan De La Cruz solo home run in the second.

The Marlins scored twice in the fourth on a Jazz Chisholm Jr. RBI double that scored Josh Bell and a De La Cruz RBI single that scored Chisholm to cut the deficit to two runs, 5-3.

Miami then got within a run in the fifth when Vidal Brujan scored from third base when Luis Arraez grounded into a double play.

And then the Marlins scored three runs in the sixth to take their first lead, with Jesus Sanchez hitting a game-tying RBI single to tie the game and chase Braves starter Charlie Morton before Nick Gordon hit a go-ahead two-run home run off Atlanta reliever Dylan Lee to put Miami up 7-5.

“The way they fought was so encouraging,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said, “because if they do that throughout the year, you’ll get more wins than losses. That’s tough. It’s going to eat at them tonight, no doubt.”

The offense’s performance looked to have picked up starting pitcher Jesus Luzardo, who gave up five runs on seven hits and a walk over five innings of work. Through four starts this season, Luzardo has a 7.65 ERA (17 earned runs over 20 innings).

“I feel like it’s just going bad right now and I’m trying to find my way out,” Luzardo said. “It’s been a rough start and I feel like for me, it’s just I’ve got to keep working and get out of it.”

The trio of Sixto Sanchez, Anthony Bender and Andrew Nardi held the Braves to one run over the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to keep the lead intact entering the ninth.

Scott gave up a leadoff single to Ronald Acuna Jr. before recording two quick outs to get Miami one out away from a victory.

But then he walked Matt Olson on four pitches to put runners on first and second and then gave up the game-winning home run to Ozuna.

“I definitely missed,” Scott said. “I probably should have gotten [the pitch] a little in on him. The dude can hit with the best of them. Hats off to him.”

Miami Marlins third base Jake Burger (36) singles out during the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, April 14, 2024, at loanDepot Park in Miami.
Miami Marlins third base Jake Burger (36) singles out during the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, April 14, 2024, at loanDepot Park in Miami.

Jake Burger exits with injury

Marlins third baseman Jake Burger was removed from Sunday’s game after the third inning due to left oblique discomfort. Emmanuel Rivera replaced Burger.

The severity of Burger’s injury has not been disclosed, with Burger saying he’ll undergo more testing, but the Marlins can’t afford to lose him for an extended period of time. Burger leads the Marlins in RBI (15), is tied for the team lead in home runs (three) and is fourth in runs scored (nine).

Meanwhile, shortstop Tim Anderson replaced Brujan in the seventh inning with Brujan exiting with a right knee injury. It was Anderson’s first appearance of the series after missing the first two games due to illness.

Catcher Christian Bethancourt also was not available on Sunday due to illness.

Up next

The Marlins wrap up their homestand with a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants running Monday through Wednesday.