Aguilar, Marlins beat Braves in virus-delayed home opener

Miami Marlins first baseman Jesus Aguilar, left, puts out Atlanta Braves' Marcell Ozuna (20) at first base during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, in Miami. (Wilfredo Lee/AP)

MIAMI — Jesus Aguilar drove in three runs, Jon Berti stole home and the NL East-leading Miami Marlins won their long-awaited, coronavirus-delayed home opener, beating the Atlanta Braves 8-2 Friday night.

Miami returned to Marlins Park following a 23-day road trip, interrupted when 18 players and two coaches tested positive for the virus. After a week quarantined in Philadelphia, the Marlins resumed play at Baltimore on Aug. 4 and later travelled to New York to face the Mets and then to Buffalo to play Toronto.

Pablo Lopez (2-1) allowed two runs, seven hits and struck out a career-high eight in six solid innings. The Marlins improved to 9-4.

Magneuris Sierra’s bunt scored Eddy Alvarez from third in the fourth to give Miami a 3-2 lead. Berti added another run in the inning, stealing home on the front end of a double steal.

Miami capitalized on Atlanta starter Kyle Wright’s wildness in the third for a 2-1 lead. Wright surrendered Jonathan Villar’s RBI double and walked the next three batters.

Adam Duvall’s run-scoring double tied it in the fourth before Wright (0-3) was chased after his sixth walk that started the bottom of the inning.

Travis d’Arnaud hit a solo homer in the Atlanta first. The Braves will be without All-Star centre fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. in the series while he recovers from a sore left wrist.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Braves: 2B Ozzie Albies (right wrist contusion) swung off a tee Friday. Manager Brian Snitker said Albies could return next week.

Marlins: RHP Michael Morin was placed on the 10-day IL, retroactive to Thursday, with a right elbow injury and recalled LHP Josh D. Smith from the alternate training site.

UP NEXT

Braves: LHP Max Fried (3-0, 1.59) will start the middle game of the series Saturday. Fried is 0-1 in four career starts against Miami.

Marlins: LHP Daniel Castano (0-1, 8.31) will make his second major league start Saturday. Castano was promoted from the club’s Alternate Training Site Aug. 4 and allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings against the New York Mets on Sunday.

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