Fans hurried into Champion Stadium eager for another Spring Training game as the sun beamed down from the clear sky and the sound of music filled the stadium.
The Marlins met the Braves at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for the teams’ only meeting this spring.
The Braves won the game 5-2 behind strong pitching performances from Mike Foltynewicz, Aaron Blair and Peter Moylan.
Foltynewicz made his second start of the spring for Atlanta and pitched three scoreless innings, which included a strikeout in the second and one hit. Blair took over in the fourth inning. He allowed just two hits and walked one batter through his two scoreless innings.
Miami’s Dan Straily continued the success he’s had at the mound this spring in his second start and pitched three scoreless innings with a hit and a strikeout. However, Adam Conley and Brian Ellington gave up two runs a piece in addition to another surrendered by Chris Mazza.
The first score of the game came in the bottom of the fourth when Freddy Freeman doubled on a line drive to center-fielder J.B. Shuck, allowing Ozzie Albies to score one for the Braves.
Atlanta then took a 2-0 lead after Freeman scored off Nick Markakis’ single to center.
Dansby Swanson, Rio Ruiz and Alay Lago all scored in the seventh to give the Braves a four-run lead, which the Marlins would only be able to cut to three. The first two scores came when Lago singled on a ground ball to center-fielder Corey Bird, sending Swanson and Ruiz in for the runs and Lago to second on the throw.
With two outs, Tyler Marlette singled one to center as Bird quickly grabbed the ball and got into position to throw Lago out.
But it was too late. Lago was already speeding across home plate as the crowd erupted into cheers, so Bird was forced to toss the ball back to Chris Mazza, who had just taken over pitching.
That sequence mirrored the way much of the game went as the Braves capitalized off sub-par performances from several Marlins pitchers.
Atlanta’s single pitching blemish came in the seventh, when Anyelo Gomez gave up the games only home run to Bryan Holoday.
The Marlins had been scoreless through the first six innings before then and looked to be on their way to a comeback after Peter Mooney’s score cut the lead to 5-2 in the eighth.
The Braves wouldn’t allow another run though.
Luke Jackson came on in the ninth and got a ground out on Austin Nolan, walked Yadiel Rivera and struck out Monte Harrison with runners on first and second.
Christhian Adames was next at bat.
Anxious Braves fans began yelling for Adames to “get an out” as Jackson got ready to pitch.
A fly out to right fielder Xavier Avery resulted in the third out of the inning and the win for the Braves.
Atlanta and Miami will see each other 19 times during the 2018 regular season with the first series set for May 10-13 at Marlins park.