Extinguisher incident fires up Braves before win against Marlins

The Atlanta Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr. scores as Miami Marlins starting pitcher Hector Noesi backs up home plate during the first inning of Sunday's game in Miami.
photo The Atlanta Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr. scores as Miami Marlins starting pitcher Hector Noesi backs up home plate during the first inning of Sunday's game in Miami.

MIAMI - In the wake of a bullpen meltdown that involved a fire extinguisher, Luke Jackson put the Atlanta Braves back on track with a harrowing save.

Jackson overcame three hits in a scoreless ninth inning to finish off the Miami Marlins for a 5-4 win Sunday afternoon, salvaging a split of the four-game series in South Florida between the best and worst teams in the National League's East Division.

The victory came less than 24 hours after the East-leading Braves' bullpen allowed seven runs in the final three innings of a 7-6 loss. After Sean Newcomb gave up the winning run in the 10th, he angrily kicked a metal garbage can, which hit a fire extinguisher, which sent chemical dust and smoke spewing down the dugout tunnel and into the clubhouse.

"We were all kind of laughing afterward and were like, 'It stinks we lost, but we'll remember this,'" Jackson said. "It was funny. These are the teams that win championships. You lose a game but you build camaraderie, and I think it's a win."

Maybe so, but the bullpen nearly made another mess after inheriting a one-run lead in the series finale. Newcomb gave up consecutive walks with two outs in the eighth before Anthony Swarzak retired Jon Berti to end the inning.

Jackson earned his 18th save in 25 chances this year, but it didn't come easily. He caught a break when Marlins rookie Isan Diaz took a big turn at first after a drop-in leadoff single in the ninth and was thrown out by right fielder Ronald Acuña Jr. trying to get back to the bag.

"I was a little too aggressive," Diaz said. "I just have to be more aware next time."

Garrett Cooper and Starlin Castro reached on consecutive two-out singles before rookie Harold Ramirez, who scored the winning run Saturday night, flied out to end the game.

To shore up a shaky bullpen, Atlanta recently acquired Shane Greene, Mark Melancon and Chris Martin, but all three have struggled with their new team.

"The new guys who just came in are getting their feet wet," Jackson said. "You can see their stuff. You know they're unbelievable. It's a matter of time before it clicks, and when we're all moving it's going to be something pretty special."

Acuña hit his 33rd home run of 2019 and his sixth in as many games, and Ender Inciarte had a three-run shot. Inciarte credited the fire extinguisher incident for putting the Braves in a winning mood after their ugly loss.

"It was a good thing that happened," he said with a laugh. "We lost the game, a rough game, but everybody was thinking about the fire extinguisher. We were not thinking about what happened in the game."

A cleanup crew worked until early Sunday morning removing dust from the visitors' clubhouse. One worker said Newcomb apologized and offered to pay for any damage.

Starting pitcher Mike Foltynewicz was at the team hotel when Saturday's game ended and heard from teammates about Newcomb's tirade.

"I couldn't believe that story," he said with a grin. "I literally couldn't believe it. I came in here and heard the stories, and it put a laugh on my face."

Foltynewicz (4-5) allowed four runs in six innings Sunday in his second start since being recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett.

The Braves finished the year 8-2 at Marlins Park.

"We had to fight like hell to get a (series) split, and I'll take that," Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. "This place was haunted for us these last four days."

Héctor Noesí (0-2) allowed five runs in six innings in his second start of the season and remained winless since 2014.

The Braves scored three times in the fourth to take a 4-3 lead. Noesí walked the first two batters, and Inciarte hit his fifth home run of the season with two outs.

Acuña put Atlanta ahead 5-3 in the fifth with his homer, giving him eight in 15 games against Miami this year.

The Braves won despite striking out 13 times and going 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

Atlanta is off Monday. Left-hander Max Fried (13-4, 4.11 ERA) is scheduled to start Tuesday when the Braves open a six-game homestand by taking on the New York Mets, who are 21-7 since the All-Star break. Fried has won his past four starts, with Atlanta scoring 34 runs in those games.