ATLANTA -- The Braves' prolific offense went silent on Saturday night to spoil a strong effort from Alex Wood and put a remarkable winning streak in the record books for good, though it may have come up just short of superlatives. Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria scored on a wild pitch in the top of the ninth inning to deal the Braves a 1-0 loss.
After both teams left two men stranded in the first inning, neither offense was able to put a runner on second base until Hechavarria roped a triple to the wall in left-center off reliever Jordan Walden to lead off the ninth inning. In the ensuing at-bat, Hechavarria came home on Walden's wild pitch in the dirt that eluded catcher Evan Gattis.
The Atlanta offense that had averaged nearly six runs over the course of its 14-game unbeaten streak was nowhere to be found for most of the night, although a long fly ball to center field off the bat of Dan Uggla brought the Turner Field crowd of 42,177 to its feet before dying at the warning track to end the seventh inning.
Former Lookouts' pitcher Nathan Eovaldi (2011, 2012) made sure the Braves would not simply stroll to a historic 15th consecutive victory, tossing seven innings of one-hit ball. After Freddie Freeman took a 97-mph fastball to center for a two-out single in the first inning, the Braves did not get another hit off the 23-year-old righty.
Andrelton Simmons reached first on an infield single off reliever Chad Qualls with one out in the eighth after Miami third baseman Placido Polanco could not corral a bouncing ground ball.
After Simmons reached, pinch-hitter Brian McCann struck out against Mike Dunn, and Jason Heyward grounded out weakly to second base to quell what amounted to a serious scoring threat in a game where baserunners came at a premium.
Wood and Eovaldi squared off with a pair of dominant outings. While Eovaldi blazed through the Atlanta order with a heavy dependency on his upper-90s fastball, Wood found success with his changeup and fastball command to allow just two hits and match a career high with seven strikeouts over six innings of work.
The Braves' offense was not helped by third baseman Chris Johnson's early exit. The National League batting leader was ejected for arguing with home-plate umpire Jim Joyce after he struck out looking to end the first inning. Paul Janish took over Johnson's defensive responsibilities and made a pair of sparkling plays ranging to his left in the fourth inning to keep Wood's outing rolling, including a diving stop to rob Polanco of a base hit. But Janish was called out on strikes to end the game with the tying run on first base in the ninth.
A win would have tied the 2000 team for the franchise's longest winning streak in the modern era.
----- Source: MLB.com