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Apr 24, 2024 7:38 am

Braves in line for sweep of lifeless Marlins

Atlanta Braves

Right-hander Reynaldo Lopez and the Braves look to record a sweep of a three-game series against the visiting Miami Marlins in the finale Wednesday.

Atlanta posted a pair of shutout wins — 3-0 and 5-0 — in the first two games of the series and is 8-1 in its last nine games. The Braves are 4-1 against the Marlins this season.

Lopez (2-0, 0.50 ERA) will be opposed by Sixto Sanchez (0-1, 6.14), who is making his first start of the season.

Lopez makes his fourth start this season and will do so on extended rest. In his last outing on April 16, Lopez scattered four hits and struck out seven over six scoreless innings in a 6-2 win over the Houston Astros.

“He threw the ball really well against a really good-hitting club. Another solid one,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said.

Lopez said, “It’s like I’ve always said, for me, the important thing is to focus. To have the focus during the outings and the to be able to locate those pitches.”

Lopez is 0-1 with a 3.60 ERA in three career appearances (one start) against Miami. The start came in 2019 when he pitched for the Chicago White Sox and saw him take a loss despite allowing only two runs and fanning 10 in eight innings of 2-0 loss.

Sanchez, who missed the last two seasons with a tear in his right shoulder, has made seven appearances out of the bullpen for Miami this season. His longest stint was two innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates on March 30. He has three consecutive scoreless appearances, most recently in the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday against the Chicago Cubs.

“You could see it in his work and his run,” Miami manager Skip Schumaker said. “He’s having fun at this game again and if we keep him healthy after waiting this long in whatever role we use him in, he’s going to be a huge asset.”

Sanchez went 3-2 with a 3.46 ERA in seven starts in 2020. His last start came in Game 3 of the National League Division Series versus the Braves, when he allowed four runs in three innings of a 7-0 loss. He is 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in three appearances, two starts, in his career against Atlanta.

Atlanta catcher Travis d’Arnaud had a double, single and a sacrifice fly on Tuesday. Over his last five games, d’Arnaud is batting .615 (8-for-13) with five homers, 11 RBIs, six runs and two walks.

His offense has helped atone for Matt Olson’s extended slump. The first baseman, who led the league in home runs and RBIs last season, is hitless in his last 25 at-bats and has not homered since April 7.

Miami’s offense has been dormant. The Marlins have been shut out the last two days to extend the team’s scoreless streak to 20 innings.

The exception in the Marlins’ production decline has been shortstop Luis Arraez, who had two of the team’s three hits on Tuesday. Arraez has a 15-game hitting streak against the Braves, batting .383 (23-for-60) with two doubles, three home runs and eight RBIs during that stretch.

–Field Level Media

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