Bryan De La Cruz carries Marlins past first-place Braves

Bryan De La Cruz carries Marlins past first-place Braves

Bryan De La Cruz had three hits, including a tiebreaking solo home run in the eighth inning, helping the visiting Miami Marlins to a 6-4 win against the Atlanta Braves in the middle game of their three-game series on Saturday evening.

Jesus Sanchez followed De La Cruz with another two-out blast off Atlanta reliever Richard Rodriguez (4-4). Eddy Alvarez hit his first major-league homer earlier in the game for the Marlins.

Miami starter Elieser Hernandez took a 3-0 lead into the fifth inning, but departed after allowing three runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out four and walked one for Miami (60-82), which has won three of four.

Zach Pop, Anthony Bass (3-7) and Anthony Bender blanked the Braves over the next 3 1/3 innings before Dylan Floro closed the ninth for his 10th save.

Braves right-hander Charlie Morton was aiming to win at least 14 games for the fourth time in the past five seasons, but left with the score tied 3-3 after seven innings. He gave up six hits, struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter.

Rodriguez, who had allowed a solo home run in each of his previous two appearances, got the first two batters out in the eighth before De La Cruz slammed a full-count pitch over the fence in center field for a 4-3 lead.

Sanchez went deep two pitches later for a 5-3 lead.

The Marlins tacked on a run in the ninth on a squeeze bunt by Miguel Rojas to make it 6-3.

Freddie Freeman brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth with an RBI single to make it 6-4, but Floro got Austin Riley to fly out to end the game.

The Braves (75-66) lead the Philadelphia Phillies by 3 1/2 games for the National League East lead.

Rojas led off the game with a double and took third on a bunt single by Jazz Chisholm Jr.

De La Cruz followed with an RBI single for a 1-0 lead, and Lewis Brinson delivered a sacrifice fly to score Chisholm and make it 2-0.

Alvarez homered in the second inning to increase the lead to 3-0.

Morton doubled with one out in the fifth and the Braves then strung together three straight two-out RBI base hits by Jorge Soler (double), Freeman (single) and Riley (single) to tie the score 3-3.

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