Braves chase Mat Latos in 1st inning and rout Marlins 12-2
MIAMI (AP) At least it didn't rain.
Instead, the problem Tuesday night for the Miami Marlins was a deluge against Mat Latos. The Atlanta Braves scored seven runs off Latos in the first inning and beat Miami for the second day in a row to start the season, 12-2.
The retractable roof at Marlins Park was closed in the aftermath of a gaffe on opening day, when rain caught officials by surprise and forced a 16-minute delay.
Playing inside, the Braves poured it on. Latos, acquired from Cincinnati in the offseason, lasted only two-thirds of an inning in the shortest outing of his career.
Latos was booed as he left the game, his first for his hometown team. He said he took the mound with ''a little bit of jitters.''
''But there's no excuse for putting my team in a seven-run hole and embarrassing myself, throwing the ball down the middle of the plate,'' he said. ''It's the worst start I've had in six years. It's ridiculous putting my team through that.''
The outing was the shortest by a starting pitcher in his Marlins debut, according to STATS. Latos (0-1) failed to record a strikeout for the first time in 154 career starts.
The Braves' big inning included RBI doubles by Freddie Freeman, Christian Bethancourt and Chris Johnson, and a two-run single by Andrelton Simmons.
''Mat just didn't have it,'' Miami manager Mike Redmond said. ''He was up in the zone, and they squared quite a few balls up. When your starter goes out early like that, it makes it tough on everybody else.''
And easy on Braves starter Alex Wood (1-0).
''That wasn't what I was expecting - 30 to 40 minutes before I threw the first pitch,'' Wood said. ''I got an AB before I even got out there.''
Freeman, who batted .135 against Miami last year, and Simmons each had three of the Braves' 14 hits. New outfielder Cameron Maybin added a two-run single in the ninth.
The Braves went 9 for 16 with runners in scoring position. They batted around in the first and again in the ninth, when they scored four runs off Marlins closer Steve Cishek.
''We didn't give at-bats away, even at the end,'' Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
When it was over, the Marlins' ERAs looked like a list of FM stations. Latos was at 94.50, Cishek at 108.00.
The offensive outburst was a big change for the Braves, and a big surprise. They ranked next-to-last in the majors in runs in 2014 and lost Justin Upton, Jason Heyward and Evan Gattis during the offseason.
So far, they've hardly looked like a rebuilding team. Wood allowed two runs in five innings, and three relievers completed a five-hitter for the Braves, who have given up three runs in two games.
Cody Martin pitched two scoreless innings and struck out four in his major league debut.
The Marlins again gave their fans little to cheer about. Giancarlo Stanton, the team's $325 million slugger, walked three times and doesn't have a home run.
Michael Morse went 0 for 4 behind him with three strikeouts.
Marlins: RHP Aaron Crow is scheduled to have season-ending Tommy John surgery Wednesday.
Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria expressed no annoyance about the retractable roof gaffe on opening day, but pledged it won't happen again. Loria said he wants the roof open as much as fan comfort will allow. Last year it was closed for 71 of 81 games. ''We'll have it open in October, don't worry about it,'' he said.
On Saturday, Gonzalez told infielder Pedro Ciriaco he would be on the opening-day roster barring ''anything crazy,'' such as a trade. Ciriaco was so thrilled he cried.
The next day, the Braves acquired outfielder Cameron Maybin in the trade that sent closer Craig Kimbrel to the Padres. Gonzalez had to tell Ciriaco he was being demoted to Triple-A to make room for Maybin.
''You're talking about a business that just kind of stinks,'' Gonzalez said.
Maybin, Jonny Gomes and A.J. Pierzynski will be in the Braves' starting lineup for the first time Wednesday against Miami, Gonzalez said. Maybin will be in center field and might lead off.
RHP Shelby Miller (10-9, 3.74 ERA in 2014 with the Cardinals) is scheduled to start against Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (10-10, 3.81).