Braves blistered in series finale as Marlins sweep in Miami

AP photo by Lynne Sladky / The Miami Marlins' Jazz Chisholm Jr. holds up two fingers as he runs the bases after hitting a grand slam during the third inning of Sunday's home game against the Atlanta Braves. Chisholm hit a grand slam for the second straight day.
AP photo by Lynne Sladky / The Miami Marlins' Jazz Chisholm Jr. holds up two fingers as he runs the bases after hitting a grand slam during the third inning of Sunday's home game against the Atlanta Braves. Chisholm hit a grand slam for the second straight day.

MIAMI — For six years running, the Atlanta Braves haven't been anything but champions in the National League East.

They also hadn't been swept in a three-game series with the Miami Marlins since 2015, but that streak came to a crashing halt over the weekend.

Jazz Chisholm Jr. hit a grand slam for the second consecutive game, and Jake Burger, Nick Fortes and Jorge Soler also homered as the Marlins routed Atlanta 16-2 on Sunday. The Braves wrapped up the NL East title with a road win against the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday and were off Thursday before heading to Miami, where they lost 9-6 on Friday and 11-5 on Saturday.

Luis Arraez had three hits for the Marlins, who began the day a half-game out of the third and final NL wild-card spot in the playoffs and improved to 78-72 with Sunday's victory. Atlanta (96-53) still has the best record in Major League Baseball as it battles for home-field advantage in the postseason.

"Our team is here to fight," Chisholm said. "I don't care about the team we go up against because I know my team is going to go out there and battle every single pitch. I felt every pitch today, everybody was ready."

Marlins starter Jesús Luzardo (10-9) struck out eight batters in six scoreless innings, allowing four hits and two walks.

Miami outscored Atlanta 36-11 in the series after getting outscored 83-29 while losing nine of the previous 10 meetings between the division foes this season. The Marlins managed only five runs in four games against the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers before facing the Braves.

"Baseball is just weird," Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said. "It doesn't make any sense, honestly. As soon as you think you've got this thing figured out, something else happens."

Braves star right fielder Ronald Acuña Jr. missed his second straight game because of tightness in his right calf.

In addition to his homer, Fortes doubled twice and singled for the first four-hit game of his MLB career. He began Sunday hitting .199.

"Hopefully it will kick-start me as well," Fortes said. "I've been working with a lot of stuff, and it's not how you start but how you finish. Trying to finish strong and help the team as much as I can."

Chisholm's shot over the wall in right-center field capped a five-run third inning against Braves starter Charlie Morton. Josh Bell hit an RBI single before Chisholm became the first Marlin to hit grand slams in consecutive games.

"I'm not going to lie, it was definitely in my head," Chisholm said about hitting a second slam. "But I wasn't trying to hit a homer. I just knew I can and tried to touch it. Probably my easiest swing of the year."

Four consecutive two-out walks by Morton in the fifth increased Miami's lead to 6-0 and ended his outing. Morton (14-12) gave up six runs and six hits, walked five batters and struck out five.

"I don't have a great chance to beat anybody giving up six runs," Morton said. "I'm not going to start worrying about the three games that we had here against a team that's been playing really good baseball."

Arraez's RBI single and Soler's two-run homer off Dereck Rodriguez in the sixth made it 10-0. Activated from the injured list earlier in the day, Soler drove Rodriguez's fastball into the left-field seats for his 36th homer of the season.

"He's won a lot of games for us this year. It wasn't fun not putting his name in the lineup the last couple of weeks," Schumaker said.

Burger also connected off Rodriguez with his two-run shot in the seventh. Rodriguez, promoted from the minors Sunday, allowed eight runs and eight hits in two innings.

Marcell Ozuna hit his 35th homer of the season and Michael Harris II had an RBI single for the Braves in the eighth before Fortes connected on a solo shot in the bottom half.

Miami's Jesús Sánchez had three walks, a single and was hit by a pitch.

Arraez went 9-for-14 in the series and increased his MLB-leading batting average to .353.

Before the game, the Braves selected the contract of Rodriguez from Triple-A Gwinnett and optioned Jared Shuster to the same affiliate.

Atlanta left fielder Eddie Rosario was hit on his right elbow by a 97 mph fastball from Luzardo in the fourth. Although he needed assistance from the training staff, Rosario stayed in the game before being removed in the seventh.

Also on Sunday, Atlanta left-handed pitcher Dylan Lee (left shoulder inflammation) was transferred to the 60-day injured list.

The Braves now return home for a three-game series against the Phillies beginning Monday, when Atlanta's Kyle Wright (1-2, 7.48 ERA) will start against Philadelphia's Zack Wheeler (11-6, 3.70) in a matchup of right-handers.