ATLANTA — With the top players of the past on hand for Alumni Weekend, the current Atlanta Braves put on a performance worthy of their predecessors.
Rookie Mike Foltynewicz won for the first time in three starts since returning to the rotation as Atlanta downed the slumping Miami Marlins 7-2 on Saturday night for their third straight win and fifth in seven games.
“To come here and have the day we had today with all the legends here was great,” said Nick Swisher, who had a two-run double that broke the game open in the seventh in his first game as a Brave. “The place was packed. People were excited. To pull off that win tonight was crucial.”
Nick Markakis had three hits and an RBI to extend his hitting streak to 15 games, the National League’s longest active streak. His run-scoring single in the fifth inning gave the Braves the lead for good.
Foltynewicz (4-3) allowed two runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings, walking four and hitting a batter while striking out three.
Tom Koehler (8-9) started for the Marlins, who have lost six straight overall and six straight against the Braves. The Marlins’ bullpen has surrendered 12 runs in 11 innings in the first three games of the series.
Foltynewicz ran into some trouble in the third inning, walking three straight batters before allowing an infield single to Casey McGehee that tied the score 2-2. The rookie then set down the next nine Marlins before allowing a two-out base hit to Adeiny Hechavarria in the sixth. When he walked Koehler, Ross Detwiler came in and retired Dee Gordon to end the threat.
“I lost focus a little bit after two quick outs (in the third inning),” Foltynewicz said. “When you throw pitches with two outs, you get more relaxed. “
Swisher, who was activated from the disabled list upon his trade to the Braves, made his presence felt in his first game since June 12. Filling in at first base for the injured Freddie Freeman, Swisher gave the Braves a 5-2 lead with a two-out double in the seventh, then stood at second and made the Tomahawk Chop motion toward the Atlanta dugout. He also made a diving stab at first that doubled off Christian Yelich in the top of the inning.
“I look up (after the double) and the place is going berserk,” Swisher said. “The chop just came out. I’m trying to teach my daughter how to do the chop. We’re going to work on that tonight.”
Markakis’ single up the middle in the fifth inning gave the Braves a 3-2 lead. Cameron Maybin hit his second double of the game to get into scoring position for Markakis.
Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who missed five games with a sprained thumb, was 1 for 2 with two RBIs and a stolen base in his return.
Marlins: Ace Jose Fernandez was sent to Miami to be examined after complaining of right shoulder stiffness following his start Friday. Fernandez threw 76 pitches over five innings in his sixth start since returning from Tommy John surgery.
He is questionable for his next start. Fernandez is 4-0 with a 2.30 ERA this season.
Marlins: Brad Hand (1-2, 4.71) will get his fifth start of the season in the finale of a four-game series. In his first start in almost two months on Aug. 4, Hand threw four scoreless innings in a 5-1 loss to the Mets. He has thrown eight scoreless innings in three relief appearances against Atlanta this season.
Braves: Shelby Miller (5-8, 2.44) will try to win for the first time since May 17, when he lost a no-hitter against the Marlins with two outs in the ninth inning. Miller is 2-0 and has given up one run in 19 innings in three starts against Miami this year. The Marlins are hitting .141 against him in 70 plate appearances.
Newly acquired Michael Bourn made just his seventh start in left field of his 10-year career as an outfielder. He made two difficult catches in foul territory and another one deep on the warning track without a problem.
STILL GOT IT
Fan favorite Chipper Jones hit two home runs in the alumni softball game and was named MVP as the 1995 World Series champions beat the Braves Legends 9-5 before the game at Turner Field. Tom Glavine, the 1995 World Series MVP and two-time Cy Young Award winner, threw the ceremonial first pitch for the Marlins-Braves game.