Atlanta third baseman Austin Riley had a crucial run-scoring double and made a late game-saving defensive play to help the Braves hang on for a 5-4 win over the visiting Miami Marlins and trim their magic number to win the National League East to three.
Riley doubled home two runs to cap a four-run first inning and put the Braves ahead to stay after the Marlins scored three runs in the top of the inning. He helped save the game with his glove in the eighth when he took a step to his left to snare a 110-mph liner from Starling Marte with the bases loaded to preserve the lead.
The Marlins got the tying runner on first base in the ninth on Jesus Aguilar’s leadoff single. But Matt Joyce hit a high chopper to pitcher Mark Melancon, who threw to first for the out. First baseman Freddie Freeman then fired a strike to shortstop Dansby Swanson, who scurried to cover third, and the Braves erased pinch-runner Monte Harrison on a bang-bang play.
The winning pitcher was Tyler Matzek (4-3), the first of six relievers used. Melancon earned his 11th save.
Atlanta starter Huascar Ynoa worked three innings and allowed three runs on five hits and a walk, and struck out one. Ynoa threw 54 pitches, 39 for strikes.
Miami starter Trevor Rogers (1-2) gave up five runs in four innings, with all the runs coming in the first two innings. Rogers struck out the last six batters he retired. He allowed eight hits and two walks, and struck out six.
The Marlins scored three times in the first inning on RBI singles from Aguilar, Brian Anderson and Garrett Cooper.
But the Braves responded with four runs in the bottom of the first. Travis d’Arnaud and Ozzie Albies had run-scoring singles, and Riley drove home a pair with his seventh double of the season.
The Braves made it 5-3 with a run in the second on back-to-back doubles by Swanson and Ronald Acuna Jr.
The Marlins drew to within a run in the eighth when Jorge Alfaro singled home Miguel Rojas.