Atlanta Braves second baseman Tommy La Stella (7) avoids the collision with Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton (27) on a double play in the sixth inning of their game Thursday at Turner Field. (USA TODAY Sports: Jason Getz)
ATLANTA — Miami catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia had two doubles and drove in the go-ahead run with a single in the ninth inning against Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel to give the Marlins a 3-2 come-from-behind win over the Braves on Thursday night.
Saltalamacchia, a former Atlanta Braves farmhand, completed a ninth-inning rally by a lining a single to center field that scored Marcell Ozuna, who slid in ahead of an accurate throw from B.J. Upton.
Ozuna struck out, but he raced to first base when the ball bounced away from catcher Evan Gattis. Ozuna advanced to second base on Kimbrel’s second wild pitch of the inning and scored on Saltalamacchia’s two-out hit.
Kimbrel (0-2) blew his fifth save opportunity.
Miami’s Henderson Alvarez (7-5) pitched eight innings, his longest appearance since June 6. He allowed a two-run homer to Chris Johnson in the second inning and twice escaped after allowing a runner to reach second base with one out.
Alvarez struck allowed six hits and one walk and struck out four. Thanks to a double play, Alvarez retired the final 10 batters he faced.
Miami closer Steve Cishek pitched a scoreless ninth for his 24th save.
Atlanta starter Aaron Harang allowed two runs, seven hits and two walks with five strikeouts. It was his team-leading 18th quality start and second straight start without a decision.
The Braves struck for two runs in the second inning thanks to third baseman Chris Johnson’s two-run homer, his eighth home run of the season. It was only the eighth homer allowed this year by Alvarez, who had a streak of 68 1/3 innings without allowing a home run earlier this season.
The Marlins tied the score with two runs in the fifth inning against Harang, which broke a streak of 14 consecutive scoreless innings by the right-hander.
Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria singled home Ozuna, who led off with a walk and took third on a double by Saltalamacchia. Left fielder Christian Yelich got the other run home with a grounder to second that the Braves could not convert into a double play, which allowed Saltalamacchia to score.
Notes: A storm blew through downtown Atlanta about 90 minutes before the game. It rained for about 30 minutes and the grounds crew was able to get the field prepared in time for the first pitch at 7:10 p.m. ... Atlanta will start LHP Alex Wood (7-7) in the opener of a four-game series with San Diego today. The Padres had not named their starter. … Miami visits Houston for a three-game series with LHP Brad Hand (1-2) going against Astros LHP Dallas Keuchel (9-6). … Atlanta SS Andrelton Simmons was given the night off and replaced by Ramiro Pena. Simmons had started 96 of the first 101 games. … The Marlins successfully challenged a call in the sixth inning. First base umpire Rob Drake ruled that Atlanta LF Justin Upton had gotten back to the bag safely on a line drive hit by Jason Heyward. But the replay showed that SS Adeiny Hechavarria’s throw beat the diving Upton.