Field Level Media
Oct 8, 2020
The Atlanta Braves became the second team in major league history to record four shutouts in their first five postseason games, posting a 7-0 victory over the Miami Marlins and a three-game sweep of their National League Division Series on Thursday afternoon at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
Starter Kyle Wright and three relievers blanked the Marlins on five hits.
"We flipped the script," Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman said. "Everybody was talking about offense. Now everybody's going to be talking about our pitching, which is great, because they deserve it."
The second-seeded Braves became the first team to stamp their ticket to baseball's final four, claiming a spot in next week's NL Championship Series beginning Monday in Arlington, Texas, against either the top-seeded Los Angeles Dodgers or fourth-seeded San Diego Padres.
After sweeping the Cincinnati Reds in the first round via 1-0 and 5-0 shutouts, the Braves put away the sixth-seeded Marlins with 2-0 and 7-0 shutouts after Atlanta opened the best-of-five set with a 9-5 win on Tuesday.
The Braves matched the feat of the 1905 New York Giants, who shut out the Philadelphia Athletics in four of five games en route to the World Series title.
"What those guys did on the mound is almost mind-blowing," Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said.
Wright (1-0), who did not pitch in the Cincinnati series, did most of the work for the Braves in Game 3, checking the Marlins on three hits over six innings. He walked two and struck out seven.
"It's pretty cool to have that many shutouts, and it points to how good we've been as a staff," said Wright, a 25-year-old rookie.
Miami had two good shots at getting on the scoreboard early against Wright but wasted a first-and-second, one-out opportunity in the first inning and a bases-loaded, two-out chance in the third.
In the meantime, the Atlanta offense gave its pitchers a comfort zone with a four-run third that featured an RBI single by Marcell Ozuna, a two-run double by Travis d'Arnaud and a sacrifice fly by Dansby Swanson.
Marlins starter Sixto Sanchez (0-1) was pulled after three innings, charged with four runs on four hits. He walked three and struck out two.
A run-scoring error by Marlins center fielder Magneuris Sierra in the fourth inning and RBI hits by Swanson and Adam Duvall in the fifth completed the scoring.
A.J. Minter, Jacob Webb and Shane Greene threw an inning of relief apiece following Wright, allowing just two more hits.
d'Arnaud had a single, double and two RBIs for the Braves, completing a series in which he went 6-for-10 with two doubles, two home runs and seven RBIs.
Swanson added two hits and two RBIs to his impressive three-game run, during which he went 4-for-10 with a triple, two homers and five RBIs.
Freeman and Ozuna also had two hits for the Braves, who out-hit the Marlins 26-17 and out-homered them 5-1 in the sweep.
Corey Dickerson went 3-for-4 for the Marlins, who had swept the third-seeded Chicago Cubs in the first round.
"We know it's not where we want to go, but we did give ourselves an opportunity this year," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "I think that's a step forward for us."
--Field Level Media