Matt Olson sets single-season homer mark for Braves in loss to Marlins

AP photo by Lynne Sladky / The Atlanta Braves' Matt Olson runs the bases after hitting a solo homer in the sixth inning of Saturday's game against the host Miami Marlins. Olson's 52nd home run of the year gave him sole possession of the franchise's single-season record.
AP photo by Lynne Sladky / The Atlanta Braves' Matt Olson runs the bases after hitting a solo homer in the sixth inning of Saturday's game against the host Miami Marlins. Olson's 52nd home run of the year gave him sole possession of the franchise's single-season record.

MIAMI — It was a moment to remember for Atlanta Braves first baseman Matt Olson, who hit his MLB-leading 52nd home run of the season and broke free from Andruw Jones for sole possession of the franchise's single-season record.

For Olson's Braves brethren in the bullpen, it was a forgettable outing that led to a second straight loss to the Miami Marlins.

Jake Burger hit a go-ahead two-run homer and Jazz Chisholm Jr. added a grand slam in the eighth inning as the Marlins pulled away to beat the Braves 11-5 on Saturday.

Luis Arraez and Yuli Gurriel also went deep for the Marlins, who became the first National League East team to win a series against this year's division champions. The Braves, who wrapped up their sixth straight NL East title on Wednesday and were off Thursday before opening the three-game set in Miami, were 11-0-1 in their previous series against division opponents.

"This team has handled us the whole year, handled the league," said Marlins manager Skip Schumaker, whose club was 1-9 against Atlanta going into this series. "We knew that we weren't going to shut them out. We had to keep punching back whenever they scored."

Olson, whose previous MLB career high for home runs was 39 with the Oakland Athletics in 2021, homered in the fifth inning to break the tie he had held with Jones since going deep against the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday. Jones hit 51 homers in 2005, and the Braves retired his jersey number a week to the day before Olson broke the record.

Josh Bell drew a two-out walk against Braves reliever Kirby Yates (7-2) before Burger made it 7-5 with a drive over the wall in center field for his 32nd homer of the year and his seventh since he joined Miami on Aug. 1.

"When I hit it, I didn't think that it was going to go out," Burger said. "In my head I'm like, 'Dang, get on your horse, get going.' We needed that run. And then it went out, and I kind of blacked out there for a little bit."

Gurriel singled, and Jesús Sánchez and Garrett Hampson walked before Chisholm connected off Michael Tonkin for Miami's first grand slam of the season.

"I didn't even know that, honestly, that it was the first grand slam," Chisholm said. "It feels great, especially how we're playing right now."

Miami (77-72) is in a three-way battle with the Cincinnati Reds and Arizona Diamondbacks for the third and final NL wild-card spot in the playoffs.

"It shows the fight we have," Chisholm said. "We just came out with a vengeance and have that fight in our heart. We're not going to be bottom feeders every year."

Ozzie Albies hit his 30th homer and became the fifth Atlanta player to reach the total this season.

Braves star right fielder Ronald Acuña Jr. didn't play because of right calf tightness he experienced late in the series opener Friday. Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said Acuña felt better Saturday, but with the club already having clinched the division, it wasn't worth the risk of putting the NL MVP contender in the lineup.

"He said he felt better when he woke up," Snitker said. "Still, it's enough to take him out. There's no need to chance it."

The Braves (96-52), who still have the best record in Major League Baseball this season, threatened in the eighth when they loaded the bases against reliever Andrew Nardi with two out. Tanner Scott (8-4) entered and retired Orlando Arcia on a groundout to third.

Steven Okert followed Marlins starter Bryan Hoeing and allowed solo homers to Michael Harris II in the fifth and Olson in the sixth that tied it at 5. Hoeing completed 4 1/3 innings, retiring 13 of the final batters he faced. The right-hander allowed three runs and four hits and struck out two batters on 56 pitches.

Gurriel's three-run blast and the leadoff shot by Arraez against Braves starter Jared Shuster in the first erased a 3-0 deficit. Shuster gave up five runs and six hits over three innings.

Austin Riley's solo homer followed Albies' two-run blast that gave Atlanta the quick lead.

With Acuña's absence, Harris took over the leadoff spot in the lineup for the first time this season and second in his MLB career. The reigning NL rookie of the year, who has hit ninth in 86 games this season, also doubled and singled in addition to his homer.

In Sunday's series finale, the Braves are set to start right-hander Charlie Morton (14-11, 3.42 ERA) on the mound, while the Marlins will turn to left-hander Jesús Luzardo (9-9, 3.82).