atlanta — Brandon Beachy learned an important lesson in his first career shutout: The ninth inning is a blast.
Beachy improved his major league-best ERA with a five-hitter and the Atlanta Braves beat the Miami Marlins, 7-0, Thursday night.
The shutout came in the first career complete game for Beachy (5-1), who hadn’t previously lasted longer than 7 innings.
The right-hander said he went straight to Braves closer Craig Kimbrel after the game.
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“I told Craig ‘I’m jealous. You get to do this all the time,’ ” Beachy said. “I got pumped up there in the last inning. That’s a lot of fun.”
Beachy had two strikeouts in the ninth to cap Atlanta’s first shutout of the season. He has won five straight decisions since losing his first start. He had no walks and six strikeouts and lowered his ERA from 1.60 to 1.33.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez and pitching coach Roger McDowell allowed Beachy to remain in the game after throwing 110 pitches through eight innings.
“Roger and I were hanging on every pitch,” Gonzalez said. “You want the kid to be successful. You want him to have the complete game. You want him to have the shutout, but you want to keep him healthy.”
Beachy finished with 122 pitches.
“The pitch count thing is irrelevant in my opinion,” said Braves catcher Brian McCann. “It’s how many stressful pitches you throw, and he didn’t throw very many.”
Freddie Freeman homered and Chipper Jones, Michael Bourn, Martin Prado and Tyler Pastornicky each had two hits as the Braves out-hit the Marlins 12-5 and split the two-game series.
The Braves improved to 18-5 with Jones in the starting lineup.