Freddy Garcia did today what Mike Minor couldn’t do last night, beat the Marlins. Garcia, making a spot start for a resting Alex Wood, threw 6 complete innings, only allowing the Marlins 1 run and getting a well-deserved win in his first start for the Braves. Color me shocked. Garcia did run into some problems in the third when the Marlins scored their lone run. Donovan Solano singled to bring home Rob Brantly with 2 outs, then Christian Yelich walked and Giancarlo Stanton singled to load the bases before Garcia induced a fly out from Logan Morrison to end the threat. Other than that, Garcia never faced more than 4 batters in an inning.
Marlins rookie Mike Flynn, making only his 2nd career MLB start, was about as wild as it gets. He walked 6 Braves in his 4 innings and allowed them to cross the plate 6 times. Lynn walked the bases loaded with no one out in the 3rd, and then proceeded to give up back to back doubles to Evan Gattis and Chris Johnson. Just like that, the Braves led 4-0. Birthday boy Freddie Freeman added to Flynn’s misery with a two run home run in the next inning, his 20th of the season. This is the 3rd straight 20-home run season for Freeman, who now has 98 RBI so far this year. Freeman also added two singles and a walk in the game to give him a 3-hit birthday game. Not too shabby. Speaking of 3-hit games, Chris Johnson added another double and a single for his own 3-hit game. Oddly enough, Justin Upton had 5 plate appearances today and did not put the ball in play once. He still got on base 3 times and scored twice. Dan Uggla continues to look clueless at the plate, going 0-4 with 2 whiffs.
Jordan Walden pitched a scoreless 7th in his first action in around 3 weeks. He gave up a single to Juan Pierre, but Pierre was erased on a double play ball by Rob Brantly. Palacido Polanco flew out to end the inning. Walden threw only 10 pitches, 7 for strikes. It will be nice to work him back into the fold as the setup man and moving all the other guys back a notch. It will improve an already stellar bullpen.
David Carpenter and Anthony Varvaro finished the game for the Braves with a pair of scoreless innings. The Braves take 3 of 4 in Miami and their magic number to clinch the NL East is now down to 6.