ATLANTA — Looking rusty after sitting out his last start, Matt Wisler knows he can’t keep pitching like this if he wants to be part of the rotation next season for the Atlanta Braves.
Wisler started for the first time in nearly two weeks but couldn’t make it out of the fifth inning, surrendering 10 hits and six runs in a 7-5 loss to the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night.
After being sent to Triple-A in late July, Wisler returned to make two strong starts. But he strained his left oblique his last time out Aug. 31, forcing him to skip a turn.
Against the Marlins, Wisler (6-12) again looked more like the guy who struggled much of the season.
“There was a little bit of rust, but I shouldn’t have an outing like that,” said Wisler, who turned 24 the previous day. “I can’t keep having outings like this if I want to pitch up here for a long time. I’ve got three more outings to show I deserve to be up here next season.”
Forty-two-year-old Ichiro Suzuki scored two runs and drove in another during the 900th multihit game of his career, giving Miami’s fading wild-card hopes a boost. The Marlins remained five games out of a playoff spot after only their fifth win in the last 17 games.
“Just when you think he’s run out of steam here in the season, all of a sudden he’s throwing hits up,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Suzuki. “He’s an amazing guy. He stays in great shape. He’s really good for our club.”
Christian Yelich added a two-run double off Wisler, who surrendered 10 hits and six runs, walked two and didn’t strike out anyone in 4 1/3 innings.
Freddie Freeman and Matt Kemp homered for the Braves, providing a glimmer of hope in the middle of Atlanta’s order for next season.
“It should be fun,” said Kemp, whose solo shot in the fourth was his 31st homer of the season and eighth since being acquired by Atlanta on July 30.
Freeman reached 30 homers for the first time in his career with a two-run homer in the first.
Justin Nicolino (3-6) earned the win with two hitless innings of relief. A.J. Ramos worked a perfect ninth for his 35th save.
The Braves closed the gap with a pair of runs in the seventh, when Miami bench coach Tim Wallach was tossed from the game by home-plate umpire Ramon De Jesus for griping about the strike zone. But Kyle Barraclough escaped a bases-loaded jam by getting Jace Peterson to ground into a force.
WEIRD DOUBLE PLAY
Freeman grounded into a 6-5-3 double play to end the third.
That’s right, 6-5-3.
The Marlins had the shift on for the left-handed-hitting Freeman, putting three infielders to the right of second base. The slugger lined a grounder toward what would normally be the shortstop, but it was third baseman Martin Prado who made a nifty grab and made a backhanded flip to Hechevarria, the shortstop, covering second. He threw on to first to get Freeman.
Miami’s Yefri Perez showed off his blazing speed in the eighth, racing home on a wild pitch that rolled only a few feet away from catcher Tyler Flowers.
Perez broke as soon as he saw the ball skip away. Flowers quickly grabbed it and dove at Perez, but he was able to elude tag with a head-first slide, just getting his right hand on the plate.
Marlins: Ozuna was back in the lineup after being struck on the left knee with a pitch the previous night, forcing him out of the game. “Being able to get him out of there was good for him,” manager Don Mattingly said. “We were able to keep the swelling down.”
Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz was hobbling around the clubhouse on crutches after being struck on the left calf with the line drive in Monday night’s win. X-rays were negative and he hopes to pitch again this season, but it’s not known when he’ll be able to make another start with less than three weeks to go. “I can’t do anything,” he said. “I can’t walk on it, let alone … what it’s going to be like landing on it.”
Jose Fernandez (14-8) will go for Miami on Wednesday in the finale of the three-game series. Julio Teheran (5-9) takes the mound for the Braves.