Miami starter Caleb Smith overcame a shaky beginning to his first start off the injured list, completing six innings and helping the visiting Marlins to a 5-4 win over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday.
Smith (4-4) staggered in the first three innings of his first start since June 6, giving up four runs (three earned) on five hits and one walk. But the lefty retired the final nine batters he faced and earned his first win since May 1. He finished with six strikeouts.
Closer Sergio Romo worked around a leadoff single to Nick Markakis and notched his 16th save.
The win broke Miami’s eight-game losing streak to Atlanta and evened the weekend series. The Braves are 9-2 against the Marlins this season.
Miami took the lead with three runs in the fifth. Jorge Alfaro, who had three hits, got a run home with a double, and light-hitting Yadiel Rivera capped the rally with a two-run single.
Braves starter Max Fried (9-4) struggled against a Miami offense that had scored only five runs in the first four games of the current road trip. Fried didn’t have a clean inning among the five he pitched and gave up five runs on a season-high 11 hits, one walk and seven strikeouts. He allowed two home runs.
The Braves scored quickly in the first when Ronald Acuna Jr. hit the first pitch for a long home run, his 21st. It was the fifth time this season and the 13th time in his career that Acuna has delivered a homer to leadoff a game.
Atlanta added another run when Ozzie Albies doubled, took third on an error and scored on Freddie Freeman’s sacrifice fly.
Miami got a run in the second on a solo homer from Harold Ramirez, his third, but the Braves matched it in the bottom half on Austin Riley’s homer, his 16th.
Miami’s Starlin Castro cut the lead to 3-2 with his sixth homer in the third inning, only to have the Braves scratch out a run when Albies doubled and scored on a two-out single by Markakis.