Newcomb throws 6 scoreless innings, Braves beat Marlins 4-3
Even though Sean Newcomb had a little trouble throwing strikes Sunday, he kept escaping because the Miami Marlins had a lot of trouble hitting him.
Newcomb allowed no runs for the third start in a row and gave up only one hit in six innings to help the Atlanta Braves beat Miami 4-3.
"A year ago that game probably gets away from him," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "But right now he has more weapons and more experience."
Newcomb (4-1) pitched around four walks and Brian Anderson's second-inning double. The 24-year-old left-hander has thrown 20 consecutive scoreless innings and last allowed a run on April 26.
"Definitely I didn't have my best command of the curve, and my changeup was average," Newcomb said. "It was good to have that start considering."
Newcomb struck out six . He has given up a total of five hits in his past three starts, and his ERA is 2.51.
"He has been unbelievable," teammate Ender Inciarte said. "He gets quick outs, and we're back in the dugout in no time. It's great for us to play defense for a couple of minutes and go back to hitting."
Inciarte hit his third homer of the year and his second in two games for the NL East-leading Braves, who took three of four in the series. They have won 10 of their past 11 road games and improved to 38-20 at Marlins Park.
Jose Urena (0-6) allowed three runs in six innings, raising his ERA to 4.38. Miami's opening day starter remained winless in nine outings after going 14-7 last year.
"He's throwing the ball good enough to be better than 0-6, that's for sure," manager Don Mattingly said.
The last-place Marlins won only one game all week, and called a players-only meeting after their latest defeat.
"We have to pay attention to the little details," infielder Miguel Rojas said. "I feel like we have to forget about the big picture and start thinking about the little things."
The Marlins didn't quit. Trailing 4-0 to start the ninth, their first two batters singled. Atlanta closer Arodys Vizcaino came on and gave up a three-run pinch-hit homer to Justin Bour with one out, then retired the next two batters for his seventh save in eight chances.
Snitker said he knew better than to expect a stress-free game.
"I don't think that's possible," he said.
Freddie Freeman's hustle helped the Braves score in the first. Miami shortstop Yadiel Rivera failed to catch Nick Markakis' routine two-out popup, and Freeman sprinted home from first base.
"Right there it would be easy to coast and stop at third," Snitker said. "Freddie has that sixth sense that it might be trouble and was looking to score. That's a great heads-up hustling play."
Bour's pinch-homer was his third this season and the fifth of his career, a franchise record.
Anderson bruised the middle finger on his right hand during a swing and left the game in the eighth inning. X-rays were negative, and he said the injury's not serious.
Rojas was hit by a pitch on the left arm in the seventh by Sam Freeman and left the game in the eighth with a bruised left wrist. Rojas' arm was swollen afterward, but X-rays were negative. He said he hopes he won't miss any games.
Braves: RHP Julio Teheran (3-1, 3.14), who has thrown 15 consecutive scoreless innings, is scheduled to start Monday when Atlanta plays a rainout makeup game at the Cubs, facing LHP Jose Quintana (4-2, 4.42). The teams will then fly to Atlanta for a three-game series Tuesday-Thursday.
Marlins: After an off day, LHP Wei-Yin Chen (1-2, 10.22) is scheduled to start Tuesday when Miami opens a three-game series at home against the Dodgers, who are scheduled to start LHP Alex Wood (0-3, 3.60). Chen has allowed five homers in seven innings over his past two starts.