MIAMI (AP) — After being held out of the lineup to rest, Brian Anderson was ready when needed.
Anderson delivered with a pinch-hit, two-run home run in the seventh inning to help the Miami Marlins beat the Atlanta Braves 3-1 on Saturday night.
“It was kind of a reset,” Anderson said. “It helps your body, your legs get underneath you. I was relaxed for a day even if I had that one at-bat. I just tried to go in and have a good at bat especially In a situation like that. The pressure is not on me, it’s on the other pitcher.”
Anderson delivered his first career pinch-hit home run and the 10th of the season with his shot to left field off Chad Sobotka for a 3-0 lead.
“That was huge,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “It’s one of those games you’re walking a tight rope. Anything can happen and you see what happened in the ninth with the leadoff homer. You still had some breathing room.”
Dansby Swanson led off the ninth with his 13th home run of the season, cutting the deficit to 3-1 and ending a 21-inning scoreless drought to the Marlins in the series.
“We just really haven’t been able to string anything together,” Swanson said. “A combination of that is us not swinging the way we’re capable of, but at the same time there’s obviously a reason for that and I think you can give a little bit of credit where credit is due, and they’ve thrown the ball lately.”
Wei-Yin Chen (5-9) struck out 10 over six innings. It was the third time in his career he struck out at least 10.
“I felt very consistent out there,” Chen said through a translator. “I still had my command on the pitches in the late innings.”
After allowing the homer to Swanson, Drew Steckenrider retired the next three batters to end the game for his second save.
Braves starter Anibal Sanchez (6-5) exited with right hamstring tightness after 5 2/3 innings and 98 pitches. Sanchez allowed four hits and one run.
“In the hitter I couldn’t push my body to home plate and that’s why I lost my command against the last hitter,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez dealt with a hamstring injury earlier in the season causing him to miss 37 games.
“When I started to feel something on my hamstring after the injury that I got earlier in the season, after that I tried to take care of it more in between outings and I think one time after Cincinnati–I’m just going to do my best to stay in the game,” Sanchez said. “I don’t want to just get those innings and it happens again.”
The Marlins got on the scoreboard in the sixth when Rafael Ortega led off with a triple to right and scored on a sacrifice fly by J.T. Realmuto.
SEVEN WITH 10 HOMERS
Anderson became the seventh Marlins player to reach double-digits in home runs this season. It is the most players with at least 10 in a season since the 2008 team also had seven.
ACUNA STAYING HOT
Braves rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. was 2 for 4 and is hitting .340 (32 for 94) in August with 18 extra-base hits.
Braves: Manager Brian Snitker thought Sanchez’s hamstring issue could be related to dehydration or cramping. “Could be,” Sanchez said. … The pitching staff could be getting a boost for the stretch run with Brandon McCarthy (knee), Peter Moylan (forearm), Shane Carle (shoulder), and Arodys Vizcaino (shoulder) nearing returns. “We’ve got guys that should be back that are going to be big for us,” Snitker said.
Marlins: OF Lewis Brinson (hip) began a rehab assignment with Triple-A New Orleans. … OF Garrett Cooper (wrist) had a setback in a rehab appearance and has returned to Miami for further evaluation possibly ending his season.
Braves: RHP Kevin Gausman (8-9, 3.99 ERA) is scheduled to start Sunday’s series finale. Gausman has won his last three starts posting a 1.23 ERA.
Marlins: RHP Pablo Lopez (2-3, 4.42) allowed six runs, five earned, over 5 1/3 innings in his only start against the Braves on Aug. 13.