ATLANTA (AP) — Hector Olivera finally made it to the big leagues.
It was hardly a memorable debut.
The 30-year-old Cuban defector went 0 for 4 with a strikeout for the Atlanta Braves, who lost to Miami 7-1 on Tuesday night for their 14th loss in 15 games.
“Today I reached my dream,” Olivera said through a translator. “I finally realized it. Overall, I thought it was a good performance, a good effort. But I will continue to build on it, of course.”
Olivera was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers as part of a blockbuster three-team deal that also involved the Marlins just before the deadline for non-waiver trades. He had to battle back from a hamstring injury, and then got limited time in the minors before his call-up to the big leagues.
“This is the best pitching in the world,” he said. “The pitchers here are not pushovers.”
The Braves have sure turned into pushovers, losing their seventh in a row. Over the last 15 games, they have been outscored 110-40 and were on course for their second straight shutout until A.J. Pierzynski came through with a two-out, run-scoring single in the eighth.
That snapped a stretch of 18 straight scoreless innings.
“We all know where we stand,” Pierzynski said. “It’s not fun. But we’ll be here tomorrow.”
Justin Nicolino (3-2) pitched seven scoreless innings for the Marlins, and Justin Bour broke it open with a three-run homer.
“I started off a little shaky,” said Nicolino, a rookie who has allowed two runs or less in four straight starts. “The command of the fastball wasn’t where it needed to be. But I made a few pitches where my defense picked me up.”
The left-hander surrendered six hits, walked two and struck out three. The Braves squandered a couple of chances to break through.
Atlanta’s Manny Banuelos (1-3) got his first start in more than a month coming off the disabled list. He lasted 2 2/3 innings, giving up six hits and three runs.