By Jeff Wilson


Fort Worth Star-Telegram


ARLINGTON, Texas (TNS) — A warning to those pining to see Rougned Odor riding the pine: Nick Solak did not become the Texas Rangers’ second baseman Wednesday.


Oh, he was their second baseman in the finale of a four-game series against the Los Angeles Angels, and Odor was on the bench for only the second time since the All-Star break.


Odor will return to his position Thursday after a day off that was planned before Solak was promoted Tuesday for his MLB debut. Solak, meanwhile, will happily do what he’s told until he has more notches on his big league belt.


But as was evident in the doubleheader Tuesday, change is afoot with the Rangers. It has been since Aug. 1, when Asdrubal Cabrera and Tim Federowicz were cut loose and four players were promoted Aug. 2 from the minors.


Now, though, the Rangers are moving with more urgency in their desire to evaluate young players. They still have nine games to play before rosters expand Sept. 1 and even more players will be added.


Accommodating all of them will require the players who have been around all season, like Odor and Shin-Soo Choo, to see their playing time shrink. Hunter Pence, an All-Star, has already seen that, and so will one of the Rangers’ other All-Stars, Mike Minor.


Yes, Minor and Lance Lynn, the two best starting pitchers all season, could see a reduction in starts over the final month.


That’s life on a team already planning for its next season.


“They understand,” manager Chris Woodward said. “They understand. They’re still playing. Their sacrifice this year has been off the field. They’ve done so much. They all want to play, but they’re also seeing our younger guys take that next step in their development.”


Solak made an impact again in his third career game, an 8-7 walk-off win, by doubling twice and driving in a run. He also scored twice on RBI hits by Delino DeShields.


Willie Calhoun, who has taken the biggest bite out of Pence’s playing time, homered to open the scoring. Pence singled home two in the seventh to move the Rangers within one run, Shin-Soo tied it with a single in the ninth, and Pence won it with a single in the ninth.


Minor opened with three scoreless innings before the Angels caught up to him. They scored twice in the second and fifth to erase deficits of 2-0 and 4-2, and added three more (two earned) to open a 7-4 lead.


Minor, who lasted 5 2/3 innings, and Lynn could lose only one start from their projected pace, and neither sees that as the end of the world. They might also see their in-game workloads reduced in an effort to keep them healthy for the offseason and the 2020 campaign.


The Rangers are flirting with using a six-man rotation in September, primarily so that Joe Palumbo can log more big league time, if the blister on his left thumb heals in time. Brock Burke, who tossed six scoreless innings Tuesday night in his MLB debut, will stay in the rotation and start Sunday.


The Rangers also bumped fellow left-hander Yohander Mendez to Triple-A Nashville to continue his rehab from a spring elbow injury. Mendez, on the 60-day injured list, is a candidate for a September start.


Woodward said that Jonathan Hernandez, recalled Tuesday to work out of the bullpen, could also get the chance to start. Hernandez made his MLB debut in the seventh inning, becoming the third Rangers player in two days to do that.


A few more MLB debuts are possible before the rest of the season, primarily on the pitching side. Either way, veterans used to the lion’s share of the playing time might have to spare a few games for the youth movement.


“Anytime we’ve had an extra man on the roster, position player-wise, I’ve also told them I need them all to be patient if they’re not playing every day,” Woodward said. “And there’s a reason why. If one guy says, ‘I want to play,’ the other guy is saying the same thing. I can’t make everybody happy. They’ve been awesome this year as far as understanding that.”


———


Brewers edge Cards


(TNS) — The Cardinals managed to cut into Milwaukee’s early lead Wednesday night, but they didn’t get their final two at-bats due to rain and the game was called after 7 1/2 innings, giving the Brewers a 5-3 win at Busch Stadium.


Milwaukee scored four runs in the first inning. The game went into a delay at 9:40 and was officially called at 10:46, dropping the Cardinals a 1/2 game behind the Cubs in the Central Division.


“We waited an hour and didn’t get an opportunity to finish a game that we scratched and clawed and felt like we were definitely in and felt good about winning, quite honestly,” manager Mike Shildt said.


The Brewers got to Wainwright quickly and ultimately decided the game with those runs before the Cardinals could hit.


Mike Moustakas delivered the big blow, hitting a three-run home run after Keston Hiura singled in a run. The Brewers had five hits in the inning and two of the outs were hard-hit balls, including a scorching line drive hit by Christian Yelich that was caught on the warning track by Harrison Bader.


Wainwright (9-9) was able to get through five innings after the rough start, but the Cardinals couldn’t do enough damage against Adrian Houser.


After Milwaukee added a run in the fourth inning, the Cardinals scraped together two runs in the fifth thanks to a pair of Brewers errors.


After the first two batters were retired, Bader reached safely on a throwing error by Moustakas. Yairo Munoz then hit grounder to the right of first baseman Eric Thames, who mishandled the ball. Houser got a late break to the base, so Munoz was awarded a single.


Dexter Fowler singled to score Bader with Munoz going to second. Munoz was then caught off the bag after a pitch to Kolten Wong, but catcher Yasmani Grandal threw the ball into center field, allowing Munoz to score.


The Cards scored another run in the sixth. Marcell Ozuna and Paul DeJong singled with one out and Yadier Molina doubled to score one run and leave runners at second and third with one out.


But Matt Carpenter and Harrison Bader struck out in succession to leave the potential tying runs stranded.


Game delayed after 7 1/2


The Cardinals and Brewers went to a rain delay at 9:40 p.m. with Milwaukee leading 5-3 after 7 1/2 innings at Busch Stadium.


Milwaukee opened a 5-0 lead against Adam Wainwright before the Cardinals scored two runs in the fifth thanks to a pair of Brewers errors and one in the sixth.


The Cards left runners at second and third in the sixth when Matt Carpenter and Harrison Bader struck out to end the threat.


The key to the inning for Milwaukee was Paul Goldschmidt’s leadoff at-bat. He hit a sinking line drive to right field and Christian Yelich made a sliding catch before Marcell Ozuna and Paul DeJong singled and Yadier Molina doubled.


Cards pull closer


An inning of misplays by Milwaukee allowed the Cardinals to score two unearned runs in the fifth to cut the Brewers lead to 5-2 as rain closed in on Busch Stadium.


The first two hitters struck out before Harrison Bader reached safely on a throwing error by third baseman Mike Moustakas.


Yairo Munoz then hit a chopper to first base, where Eric Thames mishandled the ball going to his right. However, Munoz was awarded a single on a play that would have been close because pitcher Adrian Houser got a late break to the bag.


Dexter Fowler singled to score Bader and send Munoz to second. Munoz was caught off second with Kolten Wong at the plate but catcher Yasmani Grandal’s throw sailed into center field, and Munoz came around to score.


Brewers add run


The Brewers added a run to take a 5-0 lead on the Cardinals when Keston Hiura slipped a looping fly ball past Marcell Ozuna for a double in the fourth inning.


Christian Yelich singled with two outs against Adam Wainwright. Hiura’s ball seemed to be catchable but Ozuna was unable to reach it as it rolled past him in left field, allowing Yelich to score.


Wainwright had recovered from a rocky first inning to allow one hit until Yelich’s single.


The Cardinals had one hit in the first three innings, but Kolten Wong’s first-inning single was wiped out by a double play.


Brewers score 4 in 1st


Mike Moustakas delivered the big blow in Milwaukee’s four-run first inning Wednesday night, hitting a three-run home run to give the Brewers a big early jump on the Cardinals and Adam Wainwright at Busch Stadium.


———-


Orioles power past KC


BALTIMORE (TNS) — Royals left-hander Mike Montgomery’s previous two starts provided reason for optimism about what the veteran, reacquired prior to the trade deadline, could bring to their starting rotation. After all, he’d pitched exclusively in relief this season prior to joining the Royals.


The Baltimore Orioles put Montgomery on his heels in the second inning, and he remained under attack for the rest of the outing. Meanwhile, the Royals’ offense couldn’t get a key hit against a pitcher who once wore their uniform.


Orioles right-hander Aaron Brooks kept the Royals’ bats under wraps for the better part of five innings, and the bullpen did the rest Wednesday night as the Royals dropped the rubber match of the three-game series, 8-1, in front of an announced 9,872 in Oriole Park at Camden Yards.


“Credit them,” Montgomery said. “They had a good game plan, and they did a good job of making me work and not chasing pitches that I wanted them to chase. I wasn’t executing pitches as well as I have the last few weeks, but that happens. They did a good job.”


Montgomery (3-6) gave up five runs on eight hits, three walks and a hit batter. Three of the eight hits he allowed were of the loud and far variety. The Orioles (41-86) hit three home runs in five innings against Montgomery, including back-to-back bombs in the fifth.


Montgomery hadn’t allowed an earned run, struck out 15 and walked two in his previous two starts (13 innings).


“It was just one of those nights where it seemed like they really kinda were one step ahead of me with what I was trying to do,” Montgomery said. “I made a lot of good pitches right below the zone that they didn’t chase. My changeup is my bread and butter, and they wouldn’t chase at that pitch. It’s always a cat-and-mouse game with hitting. Sometimes you feel good, and they just beat you.”


Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield hit his 15th home run of the season, and outfielder Brett Phillips reached base twice (walk, single), but the Royals mustered just seven runs in three-game series with five coming in the opener.


Brooks, a 2011 ninth-round draft pick of the Royals, pitched against his former team for the first time. Brooks made four appearances (one start) for the Royals in 2014-15.


The Royals traded Brooks to the Oakland Athletics, along with left-handed pitcher Sean Manaea, in the deal that acquired Ben Zobrist in 2015. Brooks has played for the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers, had another stint with the Athletics and played for the Orioles since that 2015 trade.


Brooks (3-7) held the Royals (45-82) to one run on seven hits and one walk in five innings.


“Aaron Brooks threw the ball pretty good, but we’re just not swinging well right now,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.


After Montgomery cruised through at first inning which included back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning, the Orioles scored three runs in the second inning on two walks, a hit batter and four hits.


Jonath Villar started the scoring with a two-run home run on the first pitch he saw from Montgomery. Pedro Severino lined a double to center and scored two-batters later when Stevie Wilkerson went down and got curveball and golfed it for a double off the wall in left field.


The Royals turned an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded to keep the Orioles from adding on more runs.


———


Dodgers rally


LOS ANGELES (TNS) — Boos accompanied Kenley Jansen’s every step back to the dugout. For the sixth time this season, the Dodgers closer had blown a save opportunity. Once again, the home fans let him have it.


During last week’s trip, when he tossed two scoreless appearances in nonsave opportunities, it looked as if Jansen had turned a corner after the latest rocky stretch in his inconsistent season.


When the right-hander took the mound Wednesday night, in a game in which starter Walker Buehler threw seven innings for his seventh scoreless start of the season, it looked like Will Smith’s fourth-inning home run was all the offense the Dodgers would need.


After striking out the Toronto Blue Jays’ leadoff man in the ninth inning, on three pitches no less, it looked as if Jansen would make the team’s one-run lead stand up.


But he couldn’t put away the left-handed-hitting Rowdy Tellez. Tellez worked the count full, then fouled off a four-seam fastball and a cutter down and in. On the eighth pitch, Jansen tried another cutter inside. Tellez got to it and lined it over the right-field wall.


“Went to the well one too many times,” manager Dave Roberts said. “It wasn’t a bad pitch, but when you give a guy like that — who has some power — multiple looks in the same quadrant, it decreases your margin.”


An inning later, Max Muncy bailed out Jansen with a line-drive, walk-off home run against Tim Mayza (1-3). It was his fifth consecutive game with a home run, his 33rd, and gave the Dodgers a 2-1 victory to increase their National League West lead to 20 games.


After launching the low fastball to center field, Muncy glided around the bases and was mobbed at the plate. His jersey was covered with a sports drink and baby powder as he walked off the field.


“I was looking for something out over the plate that I could get extended on,” Muncy said. “He left something out there for me.”


But the rest of the plotline — a late blown lead salvaged by a winning rally — is becoming familiar for the Dodgers.


In the early innings, Toronto quieted the Dodgers offense. Starter Wilmer Font, a former Dodger, tossed two innings. Left-hander Buddy Boshers retired the four hitters he faced.


Right-hander Zack Godley wasn’t summoned until there was one out in the fourth inning. Smith hit the first pitch, a high sinker, off the left-field foul pole.


In his first three years in the minors, the 2016 first-round pick hit 35 home runs. Between 62 triple-A games and 28 big league games this year, he has 32.


Buehler took over from there. After working around baserunners in each of the first three innings, Buehler retired 13 of the final 14 he faced. He struck out eight and found the strike zone on 64 of 91 pitches. He surrendered five hits and didn’t walk anyone. After a flat five-inning outing in Miami last week, he returned to form in Dodger Stadium, where he has a 2.13 earned-run average and nearly twice as many strikeouts (102) as hits given up (58) this year.


“I thought Walker was really good,” Roberts said. “He was in sync all night long, changing speeds. The fastball really had the carry, the command all night long.”


But the confines of Chavez Ravine haven’t been as friendly to Jansen. Half of his six blown-save chances, which are tied for second most in his career, have come at home. The Dodgers overcame again Wednesday and Roberts said Jansen would remain the team’s closer.


———


Davis homers for A’s


OAKLAND, Calif. (TNS) — The Oakland A’s took game two and a series win from the New York Yankees, 6-4, on Wednesday night.


Most notably, top A’s prospect A.J. Puk made his Major League debut in the eighth inning with the A’s ahead by two runs. A little off on his control, Puk was clearly a little hopped up on debut adrenaline. His fastball topped out at 100 mph, but he walked the first batter he faced, Mike Tauchman. Jurickson Profar’s spectacular catch of Cameron Maybin’s fly out saved a hit, but Mike Ford hit a 110 mph single off Puk’s 99 mph fastball to put runners on the corners.


Liam Hendriks relieved him, and kept Puk’s 0.00 ERA intact by striking out DJ LeMahiue and Aaron Judge to end the threat and preserve the lead.


Khris Davis snapped an 0-for-17 skid with a go-ahead two-run home run, going the opposite way on a 3-2 fastball off J.A. Happ. It was Davis’ first home run since July 30, his second since June 18.


The A’s hit two more home runs against the Yankees, the first off Marcus Semien’s bat — his 22nd of the season off Happ’s lazy slider. Stephen Piscotty hit the A’s third, an opposite-field job to give the A’s a 6-2 lead in the sixth.


But the Yankees were able to extract Mike Fiers from his start after 5.2 innings — he’d walked three and struck out four on just 82 pitches, allowing a run in the first inning.


———


Cubs win on dinger


CHICAGO (TNS) — Nicholas Castellanos produced the first four-hit game of his short but impressive Cubs tenure.


And after Castellanos led off the eighth with an infield single, Kris Bryant made sure to capitalize.


Bryant’s two-run home run vaulted the Cubs to a zany 12-11 victory Wednesday night over the Giants that extended their winning streak to four games.


Bryant’s homer off reliever Reyes Moronta was his 26th of the season and capped a wild game that saw five lead changes.


Bryant’s homer also saved the Cubs (68-58) plenty of embarrassment after they blew a 6-2 lead after three innings.


For the second time this season, the Giants took advantage of Yu Darvish’s finesse pitching to pound him for four home runs.


Many Twitter zealots pointed out this was the fifth consecutive start Darvish didn’t walk a batter while striking out at least eight. But Giants hitters have been very comfortable against Darvish, who has allowed 11 runs on 13 hits, including five home runs, in 11 1/3 innings covering two starts against them.


Evan Longoria launched a two-run homer in the first off Darvish, who settled down and retired 12 consecutive batters before Brandon Crawford doubled in the fifth.


One out later, Mike Yastrzemski hit a two-run opposite-field shot to left to cut the Cubs’ lead to 6-4.


But that wasn’t Darvish’s biggest miscue. With one out in the sixth, Darvish induced Corey Dickerson to hit a grounder to first but couldn’t catch the throw from Anthony Rizzo for an error.


Steven Vogt followed with a towering home run, and Kevin Pillar lined a pitch into the left-field seats to tie the score at 7.


Derek Holland replaced Darvish and fared worse immediately. The first four batters he faced reached safely to give the Giants a 9-7 lead.


Tyler Chatwood started the seventh with a 10-9 lead that dissolved quickly after he failed to retire the first three batters, capped by Vogt’s RBI single. Steve Cishek replaced Chatwood and allowed a sacrifice fly by Brandon Belt that put the Giants back up 11-10.


Darvish helped his cause at the plate in the second when he pulled the bat back after squaring to bunt and poked a single to score Ian Happ for a 3-2 lead.


Castellanos sparked the offense again by hitting a two-run homer, the third consecutive game in which he has homered in the first. He’s batting .392 since joining the Cubs.


Kyle Schwarber hit his 29th homer in the third off Giants starter Dereck Rodriguez to extend the Cubs’ lead to 6-2, and Victor Caratini’s two-out single in the fifth gave Darvish a 7-4 cushion heading into the sixth.


Craig Kimbrel, pitching for the second consecutive night, earned his 11th save.


———


Phillies broom BoSox


BOSTON (TNS) — Drew Smyly said it two weeks ago, when Bryce Harper hit two home runs to power a Phillies victory in San Francisco. And he repeated it last week, after Harper stunned the Chicago Cubs with a walk-off grand slam.


When Harper comes to the plate, Smyly says, it’s almost expected that he will do something special.


Cue the fifth inning Wednesday night. Trailing by one run, having been held scoreless in the previous 12 innings by the Boston Red Sox, the Phillies needed a hit in the worst way. Harper, of course, delivered once again, launching a two-run homer into the third row of seats atop Fenway Park’s fabled Green Monster.


Do you believe in clutch?


Smyly would say it has long hair and a beard.


Harper’s latest well-timed power stroke provided a lead that five relievers preserved in a 5-2 victory. The Phillies completed a two-game, mini-sweep of the Red Sox and won for the sixth time in eight games to at least keep pace in the National League wild-card race.


Aaron Nola is a tough act to follow. And after he delivered seven stellar innings Tuesday night, Smyly didn’t stand much chance.


But what about the work of the bullpen? Jared Hughes, rookie Ranger Suarez, Mike Morin, Jose Alvarez and Hector Neris passed the baton for 5 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Smyly, holding the Red Sox to three hits and one walk. Combined that with Tuesday night and Phillies relievers shipped out of Boston without giving up a run in 7 1/3 innings.


And now, as a reward, they get a day off Thursday in Miami before beginning a three-game series with the league-worst Marlins, against whom the Phillies nevertheless are only 6-7 this season.


The Phillies had only six hits, but four went for extra bases. Rhys Hoskins delivered his first extra-base hit in 52 plate appearances, a one-out double in the third inning. Corey Dickerson snapped an 0-for-11 skid in the seventh inning with an RBI triple that rattled around Fenway’s right-field corner, then added an RBI single to center field in the ninth inning.


As usual, though, Harper had the biggest swing — and it swung the game in the Phillies’ favor. He has eight homers and an .872 slugging percentage in his last 13 games, numbers that suggest Smyly’s feeling about Harper’s knack for coming through in big spots isn’t simply anecdotal.


Smyly lasted for only 3 2/3 innings, hardly the long-distance start that the Phillies need from the non-Nola members of the rotation. It could have been worse, though. Smyly gave up five hits and three walks, but for all of that traffic on the bases, the Red Sox scored only two runs on back-to-back doubles by Mookie Betts and Rafael Devers in the first inning and a solo homer by Jackie Bradley Jr. in the second.


The deficit was more than manageable, if only the Phillies could jumpstart their offense. No dice through four innings, as they generated only one hit and three walks. After scoring three runs in the first inning Tuesday night, they were held scoreless for 12 subsequent innings. They had only one hit in the last nine innings.


But the drought ended in the fifth. Cesar Hernandez led off with a double, advanced on a wild pitch, and scored when Devers couldn’t handle catcher Christian Vazquez’s throw to third. Adam Haseley worked a walk, setting up Harper for another big moment.


———


Nats rout Bucs


PITTSBURGH (TNS) — The Washington Nationals’ offense took a short break, caught its breath and went right back to harming baseballs at PNC Park on Wednesday.


It has become recent routine for the Nationals, putting up crooked numbers, then more crooked numbers, then sprinting past opponents with their bats in hand. This one was an 11-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates, giving the Nationals eight victories in their past 10 games and maybe easing the sting of Tuesday’s late-inning loss. The offense supported eight scoreless innings from starter Patrick Corbin. It also helped keep Washington alone atop the National League wild-card standings.


The Nationals’ best solution for a still-rickety bullpen - a bullpen without closer Sean Doolittle at the moment - has been to avoid high-leverage situations altogether. There will be time for those later. Plenty of it. But because they are still in Pittsburgh, facing one of the NL’s worst teams, that was again pushed to another day. A six-run third inning was the catalyst, highlighted by a run-scoring double for Adam Eaton, a two-run single for Anthony Rendon and finally a three-run homer for Asdrúbal Cabrera.


“When these guys all get on base and get on for the next guy, it’s like a chain reaction,” Manager Dave Martinez said. “It keeps going on, keeps going on, and all of a sudden you get that one big hit because we have guys on base.”


Corbin took it from there, giving up just three hits, striking out four and retiring the last seven batters he faced. And the bullpen, having just blown the previous game in the eighth inning, had limited work and a chance to catch its breath, too. Tanner Rainey was the lone reliever to enter, and he allowed a run in a shaky ninth.


Washington has never been shy about its identity. General Manager Mike Rizzo has stated, over and over, that he builds around the mound and fans out from there. When the team signed Corbin this past December, for six years and $140 million, it only added to the mounds of money already spent on the rotation. Max Scherzer is still in a seven-year deal worth $210 million. Stephen Strasburg’s 2017 extension was worth seven years and $175 million. Aníbal Sánchez, filling out the group, signed for two years and $19 million this winter.


That could all make it seem as if the Nationals are bracing for a close game every night. But their offense is capable of alleviating pressure with early separation. The past week has provided Exhibit A, B, C and so on. Washington set one franchise record by scoring 43 runs in three games and another with 62 in five. That trend stopped Tuesday, if only briefly, when the Nationals scored just one run and wasted seven scoreless from Strasburg. The bullpen did its part by allowing four runs in the eighth. It was the law of averages passing through.


“I mean … it’s just weird,” Martinez said after the offense quickly cooled off Tuesday. “It’s baseball.”


Yet the next rally was not too far behind. Pirates starter Joe Musgrove got through two scoreless innings and had decent command before the offense heated up in the third. Yan Gomes led off with a walk, Corbin bunted and reached on a throwing error, and Eaton nudged the Nationals ahead with a double to right. Eaton has been scalding hot at the plate in August, with 11 extra-base hits, four home runs - including one in three straight games between Saturday and Monday - and now a hit to kick-start another lopsided win.


Rendon followed with a two-run single, giving him 100 RBIs on the year and tying a career high with more than five weeks left in the season. Then Cabrera blasted the three-run shot that broke the game wide open. The utility infielder joined the Nationals earlier this month after he was designated for assignment by the Texas Rangers. He has since filled in at second base, clicked offensively and nearly hit three homers here Monday. He instead settled for one, along with a double and three RBIs, and stayed on track Wednesday with Brian Dozier on paternity leave.


Gomes later tacked on two runs with his second double of the night in the eighth, and Corbin brought him in with a double of his own. Adrián Sanchez and Trea Turner added RBI singles in the ninth.


“It was one of those things, when a lineup like ours gets hot from top to bottom, even Pat got himself a knock today and drove in a run,” Gomes said. “Those are usually fun teams to be around.”


There, by the third, were the elements of Washington’s well-worked winning formula: Corbin had a big lead. He kept it. He dominated the Pirates, finishing eight innings with 93 pitches, and lowered his season ERA to 3.17. The Nationals’ rotation has yet to allow a run in this series across 18 1/3 innings, and now Scherzer returns to face the Pirates on Thursday. That kind of stretch was expected, at least to some extent, when the front office decided to hitch its hopes to a group of arms. That’s the investment being returned.


The surprise is just how explosive this offense has been lately. Slow games such as Tuesday’s are all but scheduled across a 162-game season. Putting together big innings, regularly, is a skill the Nationals are turning into habit. That will come in handy down the stretch. The starters will falter, especially once the competition kicks up, and the bullpen can’t hide forever.


———


Braves twirl shutout


ATLANTA (TNS) — Caleb Smith’s highlight performance on Wednesday came in the batter’s box, not on the mound. The Miami Marlins’ left-handed hitter roped a pair of doubles in his two at-bats, the first to left field in the third and the second to right field with one out in the fifth.


He had little support otherwise, though, and coughed up a pair of home runs as the Marlins lost 5-0 to the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park. The Marlins (46-79) have lost 11 consecutive road games and 15 of their last 18 overall. They have been shut out 18 times this year.


The Braves (76-52) opened scoring in the third with a Tyler Flowers RBI triple and an Adeiny Hechavarria home run. Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a two-run homer in the fifth.


Those were the only three hits Smith gave up over six innings, but four walks and five full counts raised his pitch count early. Smith struck out seven.


Smith, the first Marlins pitcher with multiple doubles in a game since A.J. Burnett in 2002, was the only Miami player to get in scoring position until Lewis Brinson’s two-out double in the ninth. The Marlins went 0 for 15 with runners on base.