The Braves' Dansby Swanson got Corey Dickerson's force out in the eighth off a throw from outfielder Nick Markakis. (Michael Wyke)
Houston – Rookie Ian Anderson pitched like a prepared veteran, right fielder Nick Markakis made an effective defensive play late and the Atlanta Braves threw another shutout in the playoffs, beating the Miami Marlins 2-0 for a lead on Wednesday night. 2-0 in the National League Division Series.
The Braves have thrown three shutouts in four games this postseason. Travis d'Arnaud and Dansby Swanson each hit home runs for the second day in a row, putting Atlanta within a one-sweep win in the best-of-five matchup.
Anderson, 22, allowed three hits and struck out eight in 5 2/3 innings. The right-hander, who made his major league debut in late August, added to his impressive outing last week in the wild-card series when he struck out nine in six scoreless innings against Cincinnati.
Markakis, 36, helped preserve the shutout and lead in the eighth.
Corey Dickerson hit a Swanson error at shortstop to start the inning, setting up the play for Markakis. Jon Berti hit a fly high down the line that stung towards Markakis. The ranger then threw to Swanson at second when Dickerson hesitated in his run as he waited for the ball to be caught. The Miami running back was thrown out at second after Markakis' close shot.
Will Smith retired the next two batters and Mark Melancon, Atlanta's fifth pitcher of the game, closed the three-hit combination for a save.
Swanson and d'Arnaud provided the offense in this one, with both players hitting solo home runs a day after the two hit multi-run homers in a great seventh inning for the Braves in their opening game win.
Game 3 is Thursday in Houston.