ATLANTA -- The last time Alex Wood started against Miami at Turner Field, he pitched eight strong innings before losing 1-0 to Jose Fernandez.
More than four months later, even though Fernandez is out for the season with an elbow injury, Wood enjoyed a little payback."It's probably a little different because going against Fernandez, he's got electric stuff," Wood said. "It's always fun going against guys like that. But this will probably top it just because we came out on top."Wood struck out 12 in eight dominant innings and Evan Gattis homered to help the Atlanta Braves beat the Marlins 1-0 on Sunday.Miami had gone 60 games without getting shut out, the longest active streak in the majors.Atlanta, which has won four of five and 11 of 15, remained 1 1/2 games out of the second NL wild-card spot.Craig Kimbrel earned his major league-high 41st save in 45 chances.Kimbrel retired Donovan Solano on a grounder and Giancarlo Stanton on a popup before giving up a single to Casey McGehee. The All-Star closer struck out pinch-hitter Garrett Jones to end it.Wood (10-10) matched his career high in strikeouts for the second time this month. The 23-year-old lefty, who improved to 3-2 with a 1.86 ERA in his last seven starts, gave up five hits and walked none.Wood had no problem with not getting a chance to earn his first career shutout when manager Fredi Gonzalez removed him for a pinch-hitter so Kimbrel could pitch the ninth."I would've liked to go back out there, for sure," Wood said. "But that's the nature of the beast when you have the best closer in baseball."Gattis, who batted .237 in his previous 33 games after returning from a back injury, hit his 21st homer in the second.The Braves got just three runners in scoring position after that despite finishing with 11 hits.In the first five innings, Wood allowed two hits -- a leadoff single to Solano in the fourth and a one-out single to Jeff Baker in the second -- before Nathan Eovaldi, Christian Yelich and Solano loaded the bases with consecutive singles in the sixth.But Stanton, who was tied for tops in the majors with 98 RBIs, struck out on three pitches, and McGehee took a called third strike on a slow, inside curve to end the threat."That was a huge situation," said Gattis, Atlanta's catcher. "He went out there and pitched like it was no big deal. Just competing. You could see he was fired up. Just outstanding."Wood, mixing his fastball, curve and changeup to keep the Marlins guessing, threw strikes on 74 of 101 pitches.Eovaldi (6-10) gave up nine hits and struck out six in 6 2/3 innings, dropping his fourth straight start. Chris Hatcher replaced him after Phil Gosselin and Freddie Freeman had consecutive singles in the seventh, ending the threat on Justin Upton's flyout."We always have close games with them, it feels like," Eovaldi said. "Alex threw well tonight. Again, it came down to that one home run by Gattis."Miami has lost six of eight.UP NEXTThe Marlins return home Monday, when RHP Henderson Alvarez (10-6) faces the Mets. Alvarez has won four of seven career starts against New York.RHP Julio Teheran and the Braves face Philadelphia LHP Cole Hamels. Teheran has won three straight starts with a 1.47 ERA.RECORD RELIEFKimbrel is the first pitcher to begin his career with at least 40 saves in four straight seasons.TOUGH CLIMBDespite losing just four times in their last 15 games, the second-place Braves have gained no ground on Washington in the NL East and remain six games back.LONG DAYAtlanta RF Jason Heyward went 0 for 4 after going 5 for 7 in the first two games of the series. Heyward began the afternoon hitting .348 over his last 41 games. ... Upton, who went 1 for 4, had hit safely in 20 of 27 games with 28 RBIs this month. ... Miami's Nos. 3-6 hitters -- Stanton, McGehee, Baker, Jones and Marcell Ozuna, went a combined 2 for 15.HE'S OUTMarlins manager Mike Redmond unsuccessfully challenged that Solano was safe in the ninth after 3B Chris Johnson's throw barely beat the runner. The review took 1 minute, 27 seconds.
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ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 31: Nathan Eovaldi #24 of the Miami Marlins throws a second inning pitch against the Atlanta...