No less than 8 seconds later, when the ball landed in the right-center field grass some 417 feet from home plate, the eruption of the fans was akin to something that would have permeated the Colosseum Walls during the Ancient Olympic Games. Chisholm’s missile would make for his second grand slam in as many days, as well as the second for a Marlins team that had hit none in their first 148 games to open the 2023 season, and it engorged their lead to 5-0.
But if you thought that was bad, how about back-to-back 4-run innings in the 6th and 7th? Well, the Marlins did just that, and with some oomph behind them.
After plating a run in the 5th after Morton issued four consecutive two-out walks, Jorge Soler—playing in his first game since returning from IL and having already reached base twice on the day—reminded his teammates and fans of what they had missed these past two weeks when he sent a long two-run home run into the left field seats to up the lead to 7.
In the ensuing 4-run 7th, more power, this time Jake Burger‘s second home run in as many days, to give Miami a 14-0 lead, one they certainly would not relinquish, as they ran away with this one, 16-2, setting a season-high in runs scored.
With the win, the Marlins secured their first series sweep against Atlanta since September 25-27, 2015, and reached the 78-win plateau for the first time since 2016. Miami outscored the Braves 36-13 in the weekend series.
“Our swing decisions this series were exceptional. It just shows you our offense is clicking at the right time,” Skip Schumaker said.
Pending Sunday night’s game between fellow NL Wild Card contenders the Chicago Cubs and Arizona Diamondbacks, the Marlins find themselves tied for the third and final spot. Due to the tiebreakers they hold over those clubs, they control their own destiny over the two weeks that remain in the regular season.
“We played hard, but we always do,” said Chisholm, who added three walks to go with his grand slam. “Our team is there to fight, and we’re going to go out and do there every single pitch…We just beat the number one team in baseball.”
Overshadowed by the offensive explosion Sunday afternoon was the outing put forth by Jesús Luzardo, who held Atlanta bats to just 4 hits over 6 scoreless innings, picking up 8 strikeouts in the process. Now up to 194 strikeouts on the season, Luzardo has a chance to join Al Leiter as the only left-handed pitchers in Marlins history to strike out 200 or more batters in a season.
- Both teams used position players on the mound to complete the game—Nicky Lopez for the Braves and Jacob Stallings for the Fish.
- With his second grand slam in as many days, Jazz Chisholm Jr. became the first player in Marlins history to do so in consecutive games.
- The 2023 Marlins joined the 1995 club as the only two in team history with multiple streaks of 10 or more runs scored. The 1995 club did so three separate times.
- Miami’s 36 runs scored tied a club record for most runs in any three-game span set back in 2008.
- Nick Fortes, who added a home run in the victory, set a career-high with 4 hits.
The Marlins continue both their final homestand of the season and divisional play on Monday when they welcome the New York Mets to LoanDepot Park. Edward Cabrera (6-7, 4.52 ERA) is slated to make his first proper start since being recalled on September 6. In the two prior starts against New York this season, Cabrera, while allowing just 2 hits over 6 2/3 innings pitched, has walked 13 batters combined in those outings. The Mets will counter with rookie José Butto (1-2, 3.46 ERA).
First pitch is slated for 6:40 EST.
Photo courtesy of Miami Marlins