MIAMI — Marcell Ozuna, the left fielder for the slumping Miami Marlins, lost a ball in the lights, which is fitting.
Right now, the way the Marlins are playing, you could say they are lost as a ballclub. Ozuna’s miscue led to a two-run Atlanta rally and a 3-1 Braves victory on Saturday night at Marlins Park.
“It disappeared,” Marlins center fielder Christian Yelich said of the ball that was hit by Freddie Freeman, who was credited with one of his two doubles on the night. “That play came back and bit us today. It’s not why we lost, but it didn’t help.”
Yelich said Ozuna wasn’t the only person to lose that ball.
“There’s nothing you can do when it gets lost like that except help him try to find it when it comes back in the lights,” Yelich said. “I was running over there trying to follow it in case it happened, and I lost it, too. I couldn’t see it, either. It’s unfortunate that it cost us a couple of runs.”
Braves right-hander Julio Teheran (3-3), who had struggled with an 8.02 ERA in his past four starts, benefited from Miami’s issues. He pitched six scoreless innings, allowing three hits and two walks.
“That might have been as crisp and as good as I’ve seen Julio since I’ve been here,” said Braves manager Brian Snitker, who took over the team last year on May 17. “I thought the ball was coming out of his hand really good.”
Teheran said there was no special secret to breaking out of his slump.
“I just competed against every hitter,” he said. “That’s how you get out of every inning.”
Jim Johnson pitched a perfect ninth, earning his sixth save in eight chances.
Marlins right-hander Edinson Volquez (0-5), who had been on the disabled list due to a blister on his right thumb, pitched his first game since May 2. He allowed four hits, two walks and two runs in six innings and has yet to win a game as a Marlins player.
The Braves (13-20) won their second straight game and moved past Miami, out of last place in the National League East.
It was the first series won by the Braves since they took two out of three from the Milwaukee Brewers on April 28-30.
The Marlins (13-22) are mired in a dreadful slump — they have lost 14 of their past 17 games, including five in a row.
Atlanta opened the scoring in the fourth. Freeman led off by slicing his opposite-field double that Ozuna lost, with the ball landing about 30 feet behind him. Freeman scored on a one-out single by Nick Markakis. Dansby Swanson’s two-out single on a 2-2 pitch scored Markakis from third to make it 2-0.
Justin Bour hit a solo homer in the seventh inning, cutting Miami’s deficit to 2-1. The homer, which came on the first pitch of the night by reliever Eric O’Flaherty, was the seventh of the season for Bour. It was also the first career homer off a left-hander by the lefty-swinging Bour.
Atlanta extended its lead to 3-1 in the eighth. Freeman hit a clean two-out double to left-center and scored when third baseman Derek Dietrich scooped up a dribbler by Matt Kemp and bounced a throw that got by Bour at first base.
Kemp was credited with a hit, extending his streak to 13 games, but the Marlins blew an opportunity to keep their deficit at just one run.
“I thought (Bour) tried to block it,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Dietrich’s low throw. “You want to keep it in front of you somehow. He played it squared up — I didn’t see an ‘Ole’.”
NOTES: Marlins LHP Wei-Yin Chen, who has been out since May 5 due to arm fatigue, was supposed to pitch on Tuesday but had a setback on Saturday during a bullpen session. … In order to activate RHP Edinson Volquez off the disabled list on Saturday, Miami sent RHP Brian Ellington to Triple-A New Orleans. … Braves RHP prospect Mike Soroka, who at 19 is the second-youngest player in the Double-A Southern League, carried a perfect game into the seventh inning on Friday, finishing his night by allowing one hit and one walk and lowering his ERA to 0.89. … Braves RHP R.A. Dickey (3-2), who starts the series finale on Sunday, has a streak of five straight double-figure-wins seasons. … Miami will start LHP Justin Nicolino, who will be recalled from New Orleans.