Baseball / Sports

Cosart shines again, leads Marlins to 4-0 win over Braves

ATLANTA -- Jarred Cosart hasn't merely been the Miami Marlins' best pitcher lately. He has kept their three-city trip from turning into a disaster.

The right-hander, acquired from Houston in a trade-deadline deal, pitched the second of their three wins on the trip by shutting down the Braves for seven innings in a 4-0 victory Saturday at Turner Field.

Donovan Solano provided the impetus with three hits and two RBI, including his third home run of the season. Cosart scattered seven hits, all singles and walked one.

It was a much-needed boost to the Marlins' sagging playoff hopes. They began the night 5 1/2 games out of the wild-card race and five behind the Braves. The Marlins will have a chance to win the series and conclude the trip 4-5 in Sunday's finale.

Cosart, who had given up two runs in 20 2/3 innings over his previous three outings, has won three of his five Marlins starts with a 1.64 ERA.

"I wasn't a high-paid guy, and it's kind of a slap in the face when you get traded from an organization that's one of the worst organizations in baseball over the last three years. So I just play with that extra chip on my shoulder, come here and it would be the icing on the cake if we could somehow get in the playoffs," Cosart said.

He allowed three singles through five innings, and two of those runners were erased on double plays.

Cosart didn't encounter trouble until the sixth when he served a one-out walk and a single. He responded by getting Andrelton Simmons looking at a 3-2 fastball on the outside corner, then got Freddie Freeman to hit an inning-ending ground out.

"Any time you get into a jam you have to make pitches, and that was definitely my biggest pitch of the night," Cosart said.

After Upton opened the seventh with a single, Cosart induced the third double play on a first-pitch grounder by Gattis.

Against the Angels, Cosart became just the third Marlins pitcher to throw 80 or more strikes while totaling 107 pitches or fewer in a game. This time he threw 57 of 93 pitches for strikes.

"Love the way he's come out here and competed, and he's had some big starts for us. Man, we're glad he's on our side. He's a nice addition to our pitching staff," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said.

It took an inning for Cosart to zero in. He did so while striking out the side in the second.

He did it with the recipe that served him in his previous three starts, getting ahead of all three hitters. He put Justin Upton away with a nasty curveball. He got Gattis with three consecutive curves, then finished off Chris Johnson on a foul-tip swing with a fastball.

Solano gave Cosart a lead with one out in the first when he launched a slow curve from Aaron Harang into the left-field seats.

The second baseman doesn't go deep often, but he tends to make it a memorable and meaningful occasion. His first was a decisive blow against former Cy Young winner David Price. His two-run shot off the foul pole against Cardinals All-Star starter Adam Wainwright on Aug. 12 clinched Cosart's first win as a Marlin.

Miami made it 2-0 with a two-out rally in the third. A walk to Christian Yelich and a single by Solano set up Giancarlo Stanton, who ended an 0-for-12 drought by bouncing a seeing-eye single up the middle.

Stanton, who pushed his National League-leading RBI total to 98, had struck out in nine of those futile at-bats since hitting a three-run homer at Anaheim, which helped Cosart to his second Marlins win.

Solano's third hit of the night, a two-out single in the fifth, drove in Yelich, who had doubled.

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