Match of August 14, 2022: Braves 3, Marlins 1

The Braves, who trailed by one run and found themselves on their last three outs, trailing by two runs after a three-run inning. Those runs ensured that Bryce Elder’s terrific start would not be wasted while taking the offense out of reach for the first eight innings. After losing four of five in New York to start the road trip, the Braves won six in a row before hosting the Mets and Astros.

“We had a bad weekend and ended up having a really good road trip, so hats off to all the guys for moving on and taking care of business, sticking with the game today as they did,” manager Brian Snitker said. “We have a tough week ahead of us, tough the next 10 days. But it’s something they’ve been through and I can’t wait to be there.

Heading into that ninth inning, the Braves had gone 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position. They had left 11 men on the base. If you count the second inning, when Eddie Rosario was sent off at home trying to score on Marcell Ozuna’s single, the Braves had at least two runners on base in six of the first eight innings. They had plenty of chances to not only tie the game, but also take a lead and open it up.

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Better late than never.

After Harris’ home run left the bat at 111.2 mph and traveled 419 feet, Dansby Swanson singled out. Grissom, a rookie playing only his fifth major league game, drew an 11-pitch walk (yes, you read that right) in which he fouled out on five straight pitches before taking the ball four. After Swanson was caught between second and third, Olson walked on before Contreras put one in play to tag Grissom.

“I feel like the biggest moment was Vaughn getting this much time at bat, working a count, just being a competitor the way he is,” Harris said. “He just fights. He just gets up there and he does it. It is simply amazing to play with. We just feed off each other’s energy. We definitely came together in the last round.

In the bottom of the ninth, Kenley Jansen blocked a runner on third base as he made his 27th save of the season.

Elder turned a gem, working with ease in the Marlins lineup as he rewarded the club for giving him that start. The 23-year-old right-hander, who made four starts for the Braves earlier this season before they picked him, had the best start of his career — and it’s not particularly close. He struck out a career-high 10 batters while allowing just three hits in seven innings. Elder said this release can do a lot for him in the future.

“I think when I was here before it was a bit passive, if you will,” Elder said. “I think this one is just kind of a show if you make good pitches – not good ones, just good ones – you’re going to be successful, for the most part.”

In the fourth inning, Elder, who threw 104 pitches, gave up a brace to JJ Bleday. Two batters later, with two out, Miguel Rojas threw an 84.1 mph single into right center field that tackled Bleday. In eight innings, it looked like that would be enough to keep the Braves from sweeping.

And then, out of nowhere, Harris struck. His teammates followed. The offense awoke long enough to snatch a win and come away with a four-game sweep.

This ninth round rally symbolizes the identity of the Braves.

“These guys have shown it over the last four or five years,” Snitker said. “They’re never offside. As long as they have one strike left, one left out, they always have a chance. And this team hopes to win. We come in and expect to win. They’re after 27 outs. We have won games with a left strike. I think the teams know that, that these guys, they won’t go down easily. They are going to keep fighting and fighting and fighting to do everything they can to try and win the game.

Braves 3, Marlins 1 (box score)