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7/21 Marlins at Braves Recap

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The Marlins blew a big lead in an exhibition game against the Braves on Tuesday evening at Truist Park. The final score in Atlanta was 10-9, with the Braves coming out on top.

Miami led 8-1 as the game headed into the bottom of the eighth inning and that is where the wheels came off. The Braves posted eight runs in the frame to take the lead. The Marlins would then go on to tie the contest in the top of the ninth, only to fall in walk-off fashion a half-inning later.

Miami's big lead started early courtesy of back-to-back-to-back home runs. Jorge Alfaro, Miguel Rojas and Jonathan Villar provided the fireworks in succession, marking the first time the franchise had done so in any game since 1998. Of course, that game counted and this one did not. The 3 homers were all solo shots and came during the third inning. Miami would add three more runs in the sixth and a pair in the eighth.

Villar had the biggest night for Miami, as he went 3-4 including the aforementioned blast. Villar also had two runs scored and swiped a base. The speedy outfielder is known for his ability to provide both power speed and he showed just that in this exhibition game. After dealing with a lack of a prototypical leadoff hitter all of 2019, the Marlins will begin 2020 with one of the better ones in Major League Baseball.

Jose Urena started the game for the Marlins and provided three scoreless innings of work, while striking out one and walking two. Urena allowed two hits and appeared sharp, with his next start scheduled to come in the third game of the regular season. This is a critical year for Urena, with his job security perhaps at an all-time low.

Dugger and Conley each allowed four runs in the disastrous eighth inning. Both men were only able to record one out, while allowing nine combined hitters to reach base. Miami has not announced a 30-man roster for Opening Day yet, but Conley is expected to be on it. Conley's Spring/Summer E.R.A sits at 7.88, following an abysmal 2019 campaign. The lefty had a lot of promise in Miami's system, but has failed to find results at the big league level.

Alex Vesia was tagged with the loss, when he allowed a home run in the bottom of the ninth. Vesia pitched decently though with two strikeouts, prior to that blast. If Conley does not make the team, Vesia could be the man who replaces him. The 24-year is another southpaw and has had a better Spring/Summer than Conley.

Miami will be back in action on Wednesday afternoon for another exhibition game with the Braves. Pablo Lopez is penciled in as the starter for the game.

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