Closing options a challenge with Ziegler out

Closing options a challenge with Ziegler out

ATLANTA -- Coming up with options to close has been as challenging for the Marlins as actually locking down games.

With Brad Ziegler unavailable due to a back issue, rookie Jarlin Garcia got a chance for the save on Sunday. But no matter which option Miami turned to during the four-game series, the Braves had an answer. They showed it again on Sunday, with Lane Adams belting a two-run, walk-off homer in the 11th inning that handed the Marlins a 10-8 loss at SunTrust Park.

"The guys we had out there are the guys we had available," Miami manager Don Mattingly said. "You still feel good about it, that you're going to hold a three-run lead in the ninth there. Jarlin has two lefties. He gets the first guy out, and we don't seem to get another out, hardly. Frustrating."

Atlanta celebrated its third walk-off win of the series, and collected its fifth victory over Miami this year in its last at-bat.

Lane Adams' walk-off smash

It started on Thursday night during Ziegler's last appearance. The Braves pushed two runs across in the ninth in a 6-5 win.

Ziegler underwent an MRI and was not available the rest of the series. The unofficial term he used to describe his injury is an "irritated ligament." Ziegler hasn't ruled out a return.

"That's the very unofficial diagnosis," the right-hander said. "Right in my spine. The other one was underneath my shoulder blade, right on the side. This is kind of like, right dead center, right at the bottom."

Suzuki's walk-off single

Ziegler went on the disabled list with a lower back strain from June 22-July 28. He moved into the closer role after the Marlins dealt AJ Ramos to the Mets, converting nine of 11 opportunities.

"Rest. Treatment," Ziegler said. "Hopefully I'm back next week."

With Ziegler out, Mattingly's options are limited. Kyle Barraclough is the frontrunner to close, but the right-hander was not used on Sunday after surrendering the lead and taking the loss on Saturday.

Garcia, a lefty, was given a chance for his first big league save, taking over with an 8-5 lead in the ninth. He got the first out, but he allowed a single to Freddie Freeman and a double to Nick Markakis.

Flowers' RBI groundout

With two outs and the Braves having scored a run, Javy Guerra relieved Garcia, but he permitted an infield hit to Johan Camargo and the game-tying, two-run single to Rio Ruiz.

Ruiz's game-tying single

Rookie Drew Steckenrider is a candidate to close, but he had pitched in the first three games of the series and was not an option.

"At this point, I can't risk a young arm of a Steckenrider or somebody to go four days in a row and end up getting hurt," Mattingly said.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for 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.