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Chen scores 1st run of career to help Miami beat Braves 9-3

July 24, 2018
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Miami Marlins starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen, of Taiwan, delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, in Miami. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

MIAMI (AP) — Wei-Yin Chen did well again in a home game, and finally made it to home plate.

Chen pitched six innings and scored the first run of his career to help the Miami Marlins beat the Atlanta Braves 9-3 Tuesday.

The left-hander snapped a streak of four consecutive losses and won for the first time since June 16. He has an ERA of 2.18 this year at Marlins Park, compared with 10.47 on the road.

Chen (3-7) doubled to start a five-run fifth for his first extra-base hit in 82 career at-bats, and almost tried for a triple.

“I thought about going to third,” the veteran from Taiwan said through a translator. “But then I thought, ‘Maybe I should concentrate on pitching.’”

He showed his speed on bases soon enough, racing home from third on J.T. Realmuto’s grounder to stomp on the plate and barely beat a poor throw by shortstop Dansby Swanson.

“I didn’t think he would throw home,” Chen said. “If I knew, I probably would have slid.”

Chen laughed when asked the last time he scored a run.

“Probably back when I was playing in Japan,” he said. “It’s probably more than 10 years ago.”

Plenty of other Marlins provided offense, too. Realmuto hit his 13th homer and drove in four runs. Starlin Castro added a three-run homer , his eighth, and Brian Anderson had three hits and scored three times.

Chen limited Atlanta to three runs and five hits, reinforcing a home-road disparity that is the largest among major league pitchers.

“I’ve been asked about it a lot,” manager Don Mattingly said. “I don’t really have an answer. I feel like I’m guessing, whatever I say, but he has definitely been good here at home.”

Braves manager Brian Snitker said, “We just didn’t have great swings off of him, that’s for sure.”

Julio Teheran (7-7) matched a career high by allowing nine runs, seven earned, in 4 1/3 innings.

“I didn’t have my best stuff,” Teheran said. “I tried everything, and it wasn’t there.”

The Braves committed three errors, including one by Gold Glove center fielder Ender Inciarte that led to two unearned runs.

The lopsided result was especially sweet for the Marlins because they had been outscored by the Braves 56-29 while losing six of the eight previous meetings this year.

It was a noisy win, too. Attendance on camp day was 21,673, and the young crowd was the largest at Marlins Park since April 14.

Johan Camargo hit his 10th homer for the Braves, and Freddie Freeman had two of their six hits.

CHEN’S HITTING

Chen came into the season with a career batting average of .017, but his four hits this year lead all Marlins pitchers.

Chen struck out looking on three pitches before doubling off Teheran in his second at-bat.

“He set him up the first time up. He took all three,” Mattingly said. “They thought he was going to take all day. He ambushed him in the second round.”

COSTLY MISPLAY

Inciarte made three excellent running catches in the series, but in the third inning he let Anderson’s single roll past him while charging the ball. Derek Dietrich scored from first, while Anderson went to third and scored on Realmuto’s sacrifice fly to put Miami ahead 4-1.

NEWCOMER

Rookie center fielder Magneuris Sierra, recalled before the game from Triple-A New Orleans, went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts in his Marlins debut.

JEWELRY

Castro wore a large garish medallion shaped like an M in the postgame clubhouse. He said it’s part of a new team tradition honoring the player of the game in memory of the team’s late ace.

“It’s dedicated to Jose Fernandez,” Castro said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Marlins: 1B/OF Garrett Cooper (sprained right wrist) was placed on the 10-day disabled list and is expected to be sidelined for at least several weeks.

UP NEXT

Braves: Following a day off, the Braves return home to face the Dodgers in a four-game series, with RHP Anibal Sanchez (5-2, 2.76) scheduled to pitch Thursday.

Marlins: The Marlins take a day off and then open a four-game series Thursday at home against the Nationals, with RHP Dan Straily (4-4, 4.02) scheduled to pitch the first game.

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