MIAMI — The Atlanta Braves keep tripping up postseason contenders.
Adonis Garcia hit a tiebreaking single in the ninth inning, and the Braves beat the Miami Marlins 3-2 Friday night for their season-high seventh straight win.
“I keep saying it — I feel our team is fighting for a playoff spot,” Braves interim manager Brian Snitker said. “You can’t be more appreciative in the way they go out there and fight for each other.”
Freddie Freeman extended his hitting streak to 27 games with a sixth-inning double. Atlanta’s winning streak is its longest since it won nine in a row from June 27-July 5, 2014.
“We’re a team that has to be reckoned with right now,” Snitker said.
Miami lost for the fifth time in eight games and is five games back of San Francisco for the second NL wild card.
“This is really typical of the way we have played,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “We catch a little stretch where we win three in a row and you feel like you have a little bit of momentum and then you lose three in a row. I think that’s really been the story of our season.”
With the score 2-2, Emilio Bonifacio singled with one out off A.J. Ramos, stole his first base this season, took third on catcher J.T. Realmuto’s throwing error and came home on Garcia’s single to center.
Brandon Cuniff (2-0) struck out two of three batters in a hitless eighth, and Mauricio Cabrera threw a hitless ninth for his sixth save in seven chances with the Braves. Tyler Flowers threw out pinch-runner Yefri Perez trying to steal second for the second out, and left fielder Mallex Smith made a game-ending diving catch on Justin Bour’s liner.
Flowers drove in two runs for Atlanta and Martin Prado also drove in two for Miami, which has dropped three straight.
Braves left fielder Matt Kemp, who turned 32, was ejected in the third inning by plate umpire Adam Hamari. And Braves interim manager Brian Snitker also was tossed. Kemp and Snitker argued with Hamari after the top of the third following a strikeout by Kemp and a bases-loaded flyout by Nick Markakis.
“The manager getting ejected gives you so much motivation,” Garcia said through a translator. “That lifted everyone’s emotions and made the team play better.”
Prado, who entered the game hitting an NL-best .377 with runners in scoring position, struck out with Ichiro Suzuki stranded at second in the bottom of the eighth.
Atlanta’s Matt Wisler allowed two runs, two hits and three walks in six innings.
“Even when we were getting beat early in the year we weren’t down,” Wisler said. “There was no animosity. We just kept grinding and started playing a lot better baseball and everybody’s getting hot at the same time right now.”
Miami’s Andrew Cashner gave up one run, three hits and three walks in six innings.
“Obviously you feel like you’re going to put some runs on the board when you get a couple in the first,” Mattingly said. “We have seen their guy a couple of times and from there they make adjustments and we’re not able to.”
Freeman’s 80 extra-base hits lead the NL.
Coming off his first big league win, RHP Aaron Blair (1-6) starts for the Braves on Saturday. LHP Wei-Yin Chen (5-4) makes his second start for the Marlins after missing two months with an elbow strain.