Braves relief pitcher Ian Thomas, left, is taken out of Thursday's game against the Marlins by manager Fredi Gonzalez. (Reuters)
MIAMI — The Miami Marlins rallied for two runs in the seventh inning to defeat the Atlanta Braves 5-4 on Thursday night, sweeping the three-game series at Marlins Park.
The Marlins used four singles to score twice in the seventh. The singles came from pinch-hitter Reed Johnson, left fielder Christian Yelich, right fielder Giancarlo Stanton and third baseman Casey McGehee.
Stanton’s hit tied the score and McGehee’s was the game-winner. McGehee finished the night 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
Miami closer Steve Cishek picked up his sixth save with 1 1/3 scoreless innings. He inherited a first-and-third jam from reliever A.J. Ramos in the eighth. After walking the bases loaded, Cishek survived unscathed when he struck out pinch-hitter Ramiro Pena, who swung at a high fastball.
Miami (14-14), tied for last place with Philadelphia in the National League East, swept the Braves for the first time since 2009. It was the Marlins’ first home sweep over the Braves since 2006.
The Marlins also improved to 12-4 at home this season.
Atlanta (17-10) took a 4-3 lead in the sixth on a solo homer by catcher Evan Gattis, who hit an 0-1 breaking pitch on a line to left field. It was his seventh homer of the season.
The Braves, who still lead the NL East, were humbled in the first two games of this series when they were outscored 18-3 by the Marlins.
The Braves were led in Thursday’s much-tighter game by center fielder B.J. Upton, who hit a three-run homer, and third baseman Chris Johnson, who went 3-for-3 with a walk on a day he reportedly signed a three-year contract extension.
Miami opened the scoring in the first inning. Second baseman Derek Dietrich, making his first start since Sunday, singled and scored on McGehee’s two-out double off the base of the wall in left center.
Marlins first baseman Garrett Jones made it 2-0 in the second with a solo homer to right, his fifth home run of the season.
Atlanta — with an assist from instant replay — took a 3-2 lead in the third. After a leadoff single by Santana, right fielder Jason Heyward was called out on a grounder to first.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez argued and got the call overturned, putting two runners on base for Upton, who slugged a three-run homer to left. It was Upton’s second homer of the season.
Miami tied the score 3-3 in the fourth when catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a leadoff single and came around to score on shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria’s groundout.
NOTES: The Marlins finished April with an 11-4 home record, a 2.40 home ERA and a .307 home batting average. They ranked first in the majors in home wins, fifth in home ERA and second in home batting average. … The Marlins (2-10) also ranked last in the majors in road wins, posting a 4.66 road ERA and a .215 road batting average. … Braves RHP Gavin Floyd (Tommy John surgery in May 2013) is expected to be activated by Sunday and pitch out of the bullpen initially. … Marlins 2B Rafael Furcal is healed from a hamstring injury but now is dealing with a groin pull. He has yet to play in the majors this season. … The Marlins’ nine-game homestand continues Friday with the opener of a weekend set vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers. … Atlanta returns home Friday to play a weekend series vs. the San Francisco Giants.