ATLANTA -- By the time Marlins players arrived at SunTrust Park on Sunday morning, Hurricane Irma was already lashing its fury on the Florida Keys and the rest of South Florida. Dee Gordon, a native of Avon Park, Fla., has been monitoring the storm while preparing to play.
Gordon came through with a big pinch-hit homer in the eighth inning on Sunday, but the Marlins again had a game slip through their grasp in a 10-8 walk-off loss in 11 innings to the Braves.
Until the late-inning heroics by the Braves, Gordon's home run, which extended his hitting streak to a career-high 14 games, was a momentum-turning moment. Miami added two more runs in the ninth, but the Braves were able to rally and force extras.
"He does, and we weren't able to finish it," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Gordon's ability to provide a boost. "We get two runs after that. We get a three-run lead. You can't ask for much more."
The Marlins have not used Hurricane Irma as a distraction, but the threat of the storm has created plenty of anxiety in the clubhouse.
"I'm nervous," Gordon said before the game. "My family is all down there. I texted my dad, talked to my sister and friends."
Hurricane Irma arrived in Florida as a Category 4 storm with 130-mph maximum winds. Gusts in South Florida were projected to be close to 100 mph, and local residents are being warned about the threat of storm surges, flooding and tornadoes. Power outages are expected.
The path of the storm puts Southwest Florida in a more threatening situation than Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. But the massive size of the hurricane will impact the entire state of Florida, and projections are it could eventually make its mark on Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina.
Sunday's game was not on local Miami radio as 940 AM WINZ was down due to the storm. The Braves' radio feed was available on Gameday Audio.
In anticipation of the hurricane, the Marlins allowed players to bring their families on the trip.
"I'm very thankful to the Marlins for letting my wife and kids travel with me," said left-hander Adam Conley, who has a home in Jupiter, Fla. "It's been important to us, to my wife and I, to explain to the kids what's going on. That there are people where we are in Florida, down in Miami, in Texas, and really all over the world that are really in desperate need of help and saving. Teaching them the hurt in the world."
Conley said a friend of theirs who lives just north of Jupiter is expecting a child, and she has already been admitted into a hospital.
"They can't afford to be stuck," Conley said. "She's due any day."
Hurricane Irma is the second major hurricane that has impacted the United States in recent weeks. Texas and the city of Houston are still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which caused massive flooding.
The Braves have been gracious hosts to the Marlins and their families, offering passes to various attractions in Atlanta. They also offered free tickets to displaced residents from Florida, Georgia and South Carolina who headed to Atlanta evacuating for Irma.
The Marlins are in the midst of a seven-game road trip, with a three-game series starting on Tuesday in Philadelphia.
Hurricane Irma has been on the minds of the players, and Gordon noted he has had a few restless nights sleeping. The first thing he does in the morning is check on the storm's status.
"Guys look at it off the field," Mattingly said. "I do it myself. Obviously, it's something guys deal with. We've talked about it earlier. Guys deal with a lot. Obviously, this is catastrophic. I still think when guys are on the field, they aren't necessarily thinking about that."
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.