“He’s got a short, simple swing,” the Atlanta Braves manager said. “If you talk to him about hitting, he feels like he’s the one who gets himself out most of the time, but it sure is nice to give him a day off and still bring him in for a pinch-hit situation to impact the game.”
Gattis pinch hit and broke an eighth-inning tie with a two-run double off A.J. Ramos, helping the Atlanta Braves beat the Miami Marlins 3-1 Wednesday for their ninth win in 12 games.
With the score 1-all in the eighth, Mike Dunn (1-3) walked Chris Johnson with one out after the batter fell behind 0-2 in the count. Dan Uggla reached on a two-out infield single, Ramos relieved and Gattis, hitting for Jordan Schafer, doubled to left.
“I had faith in my fastball, but when you throw it that far down the plate, anybody can hit it and hit it like he did,” Ramos said. “It was just a bad pitch over the middle and he did what he was supposed to do with it.”
Gattis’ two-run, 10th-inning homer beat the Marlins 4-2 in the series opener. He is hitting .351 with five homers and 10 RBIs in his last 10 games, a span of 37 at-bats.
“Today I saw three pitches and got one I could handle,” Gattis said. “I was just trying to stay loose. It was the same thing as the other day with the home run. Just trying to stay loose against a guy with a lot of velocity.”
Aaron Harang allowed one run and six hits in six innings with 11 strikeouts and one walk, raising his ERA from 0.70 to 0.85. Pulled from his previous start against the New York Mets after seven hitless innings and 101 pitches, he stretched his streak of hitless innings to nine before Adeiny Hechavarria singled leading off the third.
Braves pitchers struck out 16 in all, giving them 41 strikeouts and five walks - one intentional - in the three-game series. Miami pitchers struck out 37 and walked nine.
“You kind of feed off other guys, and you kind of hope they’re doing the same thing,” Harang said. “We’re having a lot of fun right now. We’ve got some young guys, and they’re only going to keep getting better with experience.”
David Carpenter (1-0) relieved with two on and two outs in the eighth and retired Casey McGehee on a flyout.
Making his first appearance since his first blown save of the season on Monday, Craig Kimbrel retired Derek Dietrich on a flyout, then struck out Adeiny Hechavarria and Jarrod Saltalamacchia for his sixth save.
Nathan Eovaldi gave up one run — unearned — and five hits in six innings.
Miami lost two of three in the series, dropping to 1-8 on the road this year. Marlins reliever Carlos Marmol left in the seventh after straining his right hamstring on a walk to Jason Heyward.
Ryan Doumit’s run-scoring single put the Braves ahead in the fourth. Giancarlo Stanton tied the score in the sixth with a bloop RBI double to left-center.
NOTES: Jose Fernandez’s 1-0 victory Tuesday over Alex Wood was the first game in which teams combined for at least 28 strikeouts and no walks since 1900, the teams said, citing the Elias Sports Bureau ... Fernandez, at 21 years, 265 days old, became the fourth-youngest pitcher with at least 14 strikeouts and no walks in a game. The others were Cincinnati’s Gary Nolan in 1967, Dwight Gooden of the New York Mets twice in 1984 and the Chicago Cubs’ Kerry Wood in 1998. ... Miami’s Christian Yelich has a 17-game hitting streak. ... Freddie Freeman went 0 for 10 in the series. ... The Marlins optioned RHP Arquimedes Caminero to Triple-A New Orleans and recalled RHP Carter Capps. ... Braves C Gerald Laird threw out Hechavarria at second on the game’s only stolen base attempt, ending the third.