One run produced in a tumultuous first inning, which included the ejection of Miami starter Pablo Lopez after one pitch, was all the Atlanta Braves needed to beat the visiting Marlins 1-0 on Friday night.
Lopez was tossed out after hitting Atlanta's Ronald Acuna Jr. on the left arm with the first pitch of the game. No action was taken until Atlanta manager Brian Snitker walked onto the field and emphatically demanded Lopez be ejected.
The umpires gathered to consult as a group, and crew chief Dan Iassogna announced the ejection, which set off vehement protests from Miami manager Don Mattingly and pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr., who were both ejected.
When play resumed, Acuna went to third base on Freddie Freeman's single and scored on a sacrifice fly from Ozzie Albies.
Iassogna told a pool reporter postgame, "You know it was a fastball. It was thrown directly at Acuna, and we felt it was intentional."
Lopez (4-5) became the first starter to throw one pitch and take a loss since the Baltimore Orioles' Art Schallock vs. the Kansas City Athletics on Aug. 3, 1955.
The Miami bullpen was stellar, retiring 18 straight after Freeman's single until Albies had an infield hit in the seventh. That was Atlanta's second and final hit of the night.
Braves starter Drew Smyly (6-3) threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits and two walks while striking out seven. He won his fourth consecutive start.
Will Smith, Atlanta's sixth pitcher, escaped a bases-loaded jam in the ninth inning and earned his 17th save.
It was the fourth straight inning in which Miami was unable to convert offensive opportunities.
In the sixth, the Marlins had runners at first and second when Jesus Aguilar hit a ball to deep center field off reliever Luke Jackson, but it was caught short of the fence by Guillermo Heredia for the final out.
The Marlins missed another chance in the seventh. Miguel Rojas walked, went to second on a balk but was tagged out at third when he overran the bag on Jesus Sanchez's infield single.
In the eighth inning, Starling Marte coaxed a one-out walk but was picked off by Chris Martin.
In the ninth, Miami loaded the bases with one out, but Smith got Jon Berti to pop out and retired Sandy Leon on a fly to left.
--Field Level Media