Braves fall 5-4 as Marlins complete 3-game sweep

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MIAMI (AP) - The Braves will be happy to leave South Florida.

After being outscored 18-3 in the first two games of their series against the Miami Marlins, the Braves lost Thursday night on a couple of ground balls that found holes in the infield.

Giancarlo Stanton and Casey McGehee hit consecutive run-scoring singles off David Carpenter during a two-run rally in the seventh inning that led the Marlins over the Atlanta Braves 5-4 for a three-game sweep of the NL East leader.

The last time the Braves lost three straight games was Sept. 15-17, 2013.

“They played well, man,” said Braves third baseman Chris Johnson, who had three hits. “They kicked our butts the first couple of nights, and they came up with timely hitting tonight. They grinded one out. We just have to regroup and go home.”

Miami has won six straight home games for the first time at Marlins Park, which opened in 2012. It is the longest home winning streak for the team since the Marlins won eight in a row from June 20 to July 1, 2009.

The Marlins swept Atlanta at home for the first time since June 13-15, 2006.

“It’s huge for us,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “These guys keep battling and keep pushing forward and moving on and really picking each other up playing with a lot of energy out there.”

With the Marlins trailing 4-3, pinch-hitter Reed Johnson singled off Ian Thomas (1-1) leading off the seventh and took second on Christian Yelich’s single. Derek Dietrich lined out, and Carpenter relieved and gave up the back-to-back hits, both ground balls that found an opening in the infield.

“The way they scored in the seventh inning, they got a couple balls to drop and they got some ground balls that got through the infield off of Carpenter,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “We had some opportunities. Now we take a flight home and stop this losing streak.”

Atlanta returns home Friday to play a weekend series against San Francisco.

Mike Dunn (3-3) pitched a hitless seventh, and Steve Cishek got four outs for his sixth save in seven chances to complete the Marlins’ first series sweep of Atlanta since 2009. Cishek relieved with two on and two outs in the eighth, walked Andrelton Simmons, then struck out pinch-hitter Ramiro Pena and pitched a perfect ninth. The Marlins’ bullpen allowed one hit in three shutout innings.

Garrett Jones had a home run for the Marlins. Evan Gattis and B.J. Upton homered for the Braves.

Marlins starter Henderson Alvarez allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings, giving up multiple homers in a game for the first time since Sept. 24, 2012. Atlanta starter Ervin Santana gave up three runs and five hits in six innings.

Miami led 2-0 in the third when Justin Heyward, batting with one on, grounded softly to Jones at first, who tossed to Alvarez covering the base. Heyward was initially called out by first base umpire Jim Reynolds, but the call was reversed by the review umpire in New York when a replay showed Alvarez missed the bag and the tag. Upton followed with a three-run homer.

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