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 was a big part of victory 14 in a row.
Beachy, 14 months out from Tommy John elbow surgery, allowed just three hits in eight innings and the Braves defeated the Miami Marlins, 5-0, on Friday night 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.
The only time Miami got a runner to second base off Beachy came in the sixth inning when pinch hitter Juan Pierre dunked in a double to the opposite field.
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.
Beachy, who came in with a 9.00 ERA, gave up seven runs over 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, but shortstop Andrelton Simmons made a diving catch to turn a line drive by Jake Marisnick into a double play and the Marlins didn’t have another base runner until Logan Morrison dropped in a single to open the fifth inning.
Justin 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 and Johnson followed a single and error by blasting a smacking 1-0 cutter to left-center field for his eighth homer. 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 Eastabrook.
McCann added to the Braves’ lead with a leadoff blast in the third inning, picking on a 1-1 changeup and sending a drive just over the center field fence for his 17th home run.
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 career record. … C Rob Brantley, Miami’s regular to start the season, was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans and veteran C Koyie Hill brought up from the Pacific Coast League team. Brantley, 24, was batting .225. … Marlins LF Christian Yelich, who had been credited with three straight hits in his major league debut at Colorado on July 23, lost the third hit 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, who had two hits, turned 24 on Friday. … LHP Alex Wood (2-2, 3.20 ERA) will start for the Braves tonight against Marlins RHP Nathan Eovaldi (2-2, 3.19).