Suzuki leads Marlins past Braves with 900th multihit game
ATLANTA (AP) At 42, Ichiro Suzuki shows no signs of slowing down.
''He'll probably play three or four more years,'' Atlanta's Matt Kemp marveled.
Suzuki scored two runs and drove in another during the 900th multihit game of his career, giving Miami's fading wild-card hopes a boost with a 7-5 victory over the Braves on Tuesday night.
The Marlins, who remained five games out of a playoff spot, won for only the fifth time in their last 17 games.
''Just when you think he's run out of steam here in the season, all of a sudden he's throwing hits up,'' Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Suzuki. ''He's an amazing guy. He stays in great shape. He's really good for our club.''
With the Marlins trailing 2-0, Suzuki ripped a single to right in the third to bring home a run. Christian Yelich followed with a two-run double to the gap in right-center.
Suzuki sparked another three-run outburst in the fifth with the game tied 3-all, hardly looking his age as he sped around the bases for a leadoff triple. He scored the go-ahead run on Marcell Ozuna's one-out single, and Justin's Bour's RBI single finished off starter Matt Wisler (6-12).
Freddie Freeman and Kemp homered for the Braves, providing a glimmer of hope in the middle of Atlanta's order for next season.
''It should be fun,'' said Kemp, whose solo shot in the fourth was his 31st homer of the season and eighth since being acquired by Atlanta on July 30.
Freeman reached 30 homers for the first time in his career with a two-run homer in the first.
Justin Nicolino (3-6) earned the win with two hitless innings of relief. A.J. Ramos worked a perfect ninth for his 35th save.
Wisler surrendered 10 hits, walked two and didn't strike out anyone in 4 1/3 innings.
The Braves closed the gap with a pair of runs in the seventh, when Miami bench coach Tim Wallach was tossed from the game by home-plate umpire Ramon De Jesus for griping about the strike zone. But Kyle Barraclough escaped a bases-loaded jam by getting Jace Peterson to ground into a force.
In his third career start, Jake Esch lasted only 3 2/3 innings - not long enough to qualify for the win. But the rookie did pick up his first big-league hit on an infield chopper, appropriately enough in the city where he played collegiately at Georgia Tech.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
For the second night in a row, a call was overturned after a challenge by the Braves.
Adeiny Hechavarria was initially ruled safe at first as the Braves attempted to turn a double play in the second inning. After the replay showed the throw barely beat him to the bag, he was called out to end the inning.
WEIRD DOUBLE PLAY
Freeman grounded into a 6-5-3 double play to end the third.
That's right, 6-5-3.
The Marlins had the shift on for the left-handed-hitting Freeman, putting three infielders to the right of second base. The slugger lined a grounder toward what would normally be the shortstop, but it was third baseman Martin Prado who made a nifty grab and made a backhanded flip to Hechevarria, the shortstop, covering second. He threw on to first to get Freeman.
Miami's Yefri Perez showed off his blazing speed in the eighth, racing home on a wild pitch that rolled only a few feet away from catcher Tyler Flowers.
Perez broke as soon as he saw the ball skip away. Flowers quickly grabbed it and dove at Perez, but he was able to elude tag with a head-first slide, just getting his right hand on the plate.
Marlins: Ozuna was back in the lineup after being struck on the left knee with a pitch the previous night, forcing him out of the game. ''Being able to get him out of there was good for him,'' manager Don Mattingly said. ''We were able to keep the swelling down.''
Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz was hobbling around the clubhouse on crutches after being struck on the left calf with the line drive in Monday night's win. X-rays were negative and he hopes to pitch again this season, but it's not known when he'll be able to make another start with less than three weeks to go. ''I can't do anything,'' he said. ''I can't walk on it, let alone ... what it's going to be like landing on it.''
Jose Fernandez (14-8) will go for Miami on Wednesday in the finale of the three-game series. Julio Teheran (5-9) takes the mound for the Braves.
Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/paul-newberry .