Dallas Keuchel shut out the Marlins for 7 innings, but left with 1 out in the 8th following a walk and a single. Chad Sobotka then struck out Cesar Puello, but allowed Garrett Cooper‘s homer to center to cut the lead to 1. Keuchel finished with 5 hits allowed, the walk, and 4 strikeouts.
The Marlins scratched away in the 9th against Luke Jackson. Jorge Alfaro was ruled safe at first after the initial out call was challenged, and Harold Ramirez grounded a single to center. Attempting to sacrifice, Yadiel Rivera popped a bunt over the mound to load the bases with nobody out.
At that point, there was not much left for Luke to do except to induce the old 7 – 2 double play. Neil Walker smoked a liner to left, Culberson caught it on the run, and his one hopper to Brian McCann resulted in the 2nd out, this time the Marlins challenge denied. After a Curtis Granderson walk reloaded the bases, Miguel Rojas flied to Acuna to cement Jackson’s 14th save. If Don Stanhouse was “Full Pack,” then Luke Jackson is “12 Pack.”
The Braves sprint through the tape to the All-Star break, not having lost a series since June 6th at Pittsburgh, going 8 – 0 – 1 since then. They hold a 6 game lead over the Nationals (delenda est) and 6.5 over the Phillies with 71 to play, and their 54 – 37 record is 2nd in the N.L. only to the Dodgers.
At San Diego Friday at 10:10 Eastern – Keuchel again, against SDB (some damn body.)