ATLANTA -- A quick decision and an off-the-mark throw underlined a game of missed chances for the Marlins in their 8-7 loss in 10 innings to the Braves on Saturday at SunTrust Park.
The play that summed up the day came when AJ Ramos induced a comeback grounder from Ender Inciarte in the 10th. With Johan Camargo on second and one out, Miami's closer made the high-risk, high-reward throw to shortstop JT Riddle, hoping to nab Camargo.
The toss ended up in center field, and the Marlins were in a major mess with runners on first and second with one out.
Brandon Phillips, who doubled and scored the tying run in the ninth inning off Ramos, laced the walk-off single to center.
Had Ramos gone to first base on the Inciarte grounder, Camargo would have been on second with two outs and first base open. Phillips likely would have been walked to bring up Lane Adams.
"You want to get an out there," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "It puts you at two and you don't have to pitch to Phillips at that point. That's an out you want to get. You'd like to get the guy out of scoring position, if you have the play. It seemed like the play was there. [Ramos] just kind of got a little hurried with it. The main thing is you want to get an out there."
To Ramos, it was a matter of not executing the throw to second.
"I was throwing it to where [Riddle] was and not to where he was going, which obviously was not the right move," Ramos said. "It just kind of got away from there, and it went to center field."
One play didn't decide the game that snapped Miami's three-game winning streak. There were missteps throughout the contest.
In the sixth inning, Brad Ziegler entered with a 7-3 lead and gave up two runs. In the seventh inning, Kyle Barraclough was charged with a tough-luck earned run when center fielder Christian Yelich misread the ball off the bat of Tyler Flowers. Instead of a routine third out, the ball dropped for a single. Matt Adams followed with a two-out, RBI double, making it a one-run game.
Per Statcast™, the hit probability on Flowers' single was 3 percent.
"We weren't very good defensively," Mattingly said. "We didn't do much offensively, other than those two innings. We let them right back in."
The Marlins rallied from three runs down with five in the fifth and two in the sixth. Until the late innings, they were in position to chip closer to .500. With a win, they would have been four under. Instead, they fell to 30-36.
There is an urgency now as the team is trying to get to .500 and join the postseason race for the second half.
"That's the game," second baseman Dee Gordon said. "You can't get complacent. You can't feel like, 'Oh, we're going to win now because we've been doing it.' Just a little punch in the chest. Go back at them tomorrow."
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.