Miami starter Pablo Lopez and the Miami bullpen slowed down the powerful Atlanta lineup, posting a 4-2 win on Thursday and trimming their magic number to two.
Lopez (6-4) pitched five scoreless innings and allowed two hits and two walks, with six strikeouts. It was quite a turnaround for Lopez, who was tagged for seven runs in 1 2/3 innings of his last start against Atlanta on Sept. 9.
The Braves, who lead the league in runs scored and were averaging 5.98 runs per game, were limited to four additional hits by a parade of relievers — Yimi Garcia, James Hoyt, Richard Bleier, Brad Boxberger and Brandon Kintzler.
Kintzler pitched the final two innings to earn his 11th save. He worked around a one-out walk to Freddie Freeman in the ninth inning and struck out Marcell Ozuna and Travis d’Arnaud to end the game.
Miami (29-28) salvaged one game of the four-game series, snapped a four-game losing streak, and maintained its one-game lead over the Philadelphia Phillies. Atlanta (34-23) maintained a two-game lead over Chicago for the No. 2 seed in the National League.
Atlanta starter Ian Anderson (3-2) pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed three runs, all unearned, on seven hits and six strikeouts.
The Marlins scored three unearned runs in the sixth on a rally that started when third baseman Adeiny Hechavarria dropped Brian Anderson’s line drive. One run scored on a two-out single by light-hitting Chad Wallach before Jon Berti, who was 3-for-4, followed with a two-run double.
Miami added a run in the seventh when Jesus Aguilar hit his eighth homer, a solo shot to center field, against A.J. Minter. It was the first earned run Minter had allowed since July 27.
Atlanta got its two runs off Boxberger thanks to a Dansby Swanson single in the eighth.
The game started an hour and 39 minutes later than scheduled because of rain. The skies cleared enough to start the game, but was played in conditions that ranged from drizzle to light rain. There was a hard wind that blew in all night and helped keep several well-struck balls in the park.