MIAMI — Marlins right-hander Pablo López set a major league record by striking out the first nine batters to start a game, pitching Miami past the Atlanta Braves 7-4 Sunday.
A day after the Braves lost star outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. to a season-ending knee injury, their hitters had no answers for López’s early dominance.
López struck out Ehire Adrianza, Freddie Freeman and Ozzie Albies each swinging in the first inning. He then fanned Austin Riley, Orlando Arcia and Dansby Swanson also all swinging in the second inning.
In the third, Guillermo Heredia looked at strike three, Kevan Smith went down swinging and Ian Anderson was called out on strikes.
The 25-year-old López broke the mark of eight straight strikeouts to begin a game set by Jim Deshaies in 1986 and matched by Jacob deGrom in 2014 and German Marquez in 2018.
López (5-5) threw 30 of his first 35 pitches for strikes. The Venezuelan began the day with 102 strikeouts over 95 innings in 18 starts this season.
Adrianza became the first Atlanta hitter to put a ball in play when he grounded out on an 0-1 pitch to begin the fourth. Freeman doubled for the Braves’ first hit, setting up RBI singles by Albies and Arcia.
López gave up three runs in six innings — after his sensational start, he didn’t strike out anyone in his final three innings.
López gave up five hits and walked two, with 65 of his 83 pitches for strikes.
Jesus Aguilar hit a three-run homer in the first inning off Anderson (5-5) as the Marlins ended a three-game losing streak. Jesus Sanchez tripled, doubled and singled and Miguel Rojas had three hits for Miami.
Dansby Swanson hit his 14th and 15th home runs for Atlanta.
Anderson lasted only 2 1/3 innings, giving up four runs on six hits and five walks.
UPPER DECK DOGS
Along with the 9,456 fans in attendance, there were 388 pooches on hand as part of the Miami Marlins’ first “Bark At The Park” promotion since 2019.
Braves: Recalled INF/OF Johan Camargo from the Triple-A Gwinnett and placed Acuña on the 60-day injured list with a torn ACL in his right knee.
Braves: Return to action after the All-Star break by hosting Tampa Bay on Friday night.
Marlins: At Philadelphia on Friday night to start the second half.