MIAMI (AP) — Jake Burger hit a go-ahead two-run homer and Jazz Chisholm Jr. added a grand slam in the eighth inning as the Miami Marlins pulled away to beat the Atlanta Braves 11-5 on Saturday.
Luis Arraez and Yuli Gurriel also went deep for the Marlins, who became the first NL East team to win a series against the division champions. The Braves were 11-0-1 in their previous series against division opponents.
“This team has handled us the whole year, handled the league,” said Marlins manager Skip Schumaker, whose club was 1-9 against Atlanta before winning the first two of the series. “We knew that we weren’t going to shut them out. We had to keep punching back whenever they scored.”
Matt Olson hit his major league-leading 52nd homer and overtook Andruw Jones as Atlanta’s single-season home run leader. Jones hit 51 in 2005.
Josh Bell drew a two-out walk against Braves reliever Kirby Yates (7-2) before Burger made it 7-5 with a drive over the wall in center for his 32nd homer and seventh since he joined Miami on Aug. 1.
“When I hit it, I didn’t think that it was gonna go out,” Burger said. “In my head I’m like, ‘Dang, get on your horse, get going.’ We needed that run. And then it went out and I kind of blacked out there for a little bit.”
Gurriel singled, and Jesús Sánchez and Garrett Hampson walked before Chisholm connected off Michael Tonkin for Miami’s first grand slam of the season.
“I didn’t even know that, honestly, that it was the first grand slam,” Chisholm said. “It feels great, especially how we’re playing right now.”
Miami (77-72) is in a three-way battle with Cincinnati and Arizona for the third NL wild-card spot.
“It shows the fight we have,” Chisholm said. “We just came out with a vengeance and have that fight in our heart. We’re not going to be bottom feeders every year.”
Ozzie Albies hit his 30th homer and became the fifth Braves’ player to reach the total this season.
Braves star outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. didn’t play because of right calf tightness he experienced late in the series opener Friday. Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said Acuña felt better Saturday but with the club already having clinched the division, it wasn’t worth the risk playing him.
“He said he felt better when he woke up,” Snitker said. “Still it’s enough to take him out. There’s no need to chance it.”
The Braves threatened in the eighth when they loaded the bases against reliever Andrew Nardi with two out. Tanner Scott (8-4) relieved and retired Orlando Arcia on a groundout to third.
Steven Okert followed Marlins starter Bryan Hoeing and allowed solo homers to Michael Harris II in the fifth and Olson in the sixth that tied it at 5. Hoeing completed 4 1/3 innings, retiring 13 of the final batters he faced. The right-hander allowed three runs, four hits and struck out two on 56 pitches.
Gurriel’s three-run blast and Arraez’s leadoff shot against Braves starter Jared Shuster in the first erased a 3-0 deficit.
Shuster gave up five runs and six hits over three innings.
Austin Riley’s solo shot followed Albies’ two-run blast that gave Atlanta the quick lead.
HARRIS MOVES UP
With Acuña’s absence, Harris took over the leadoff spot in the lineup for the first time this season and second in his young career. The reigning NL Rookie of the Year, who has hit ninth in 86 games this season, also doubled and singled in addition to his homer.
Marlins: OF Bryan De La Cruz (right ankle discomfort) did not play. He left after the third inning Friday. ... RHP Huascar Brazoban (left hip impingement) threw a bullpen session Friday.
RHP Charlie Morton (14-11, 3.42) will start the series finale for the Braves Sunday against Marlins LHP Jesús Luzardo (9-9, 3.82).
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB