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Atlanta Braves sweep Miami Marlins for first trip to NLCS since 2001

Atlanta Braves slugger Marcell Ozuna (R) had two hits and an RBI in his team's 7-0 win over the Miami Marlins on Thursday. File Photo by Tami Chappell/UPI
Atlanta Braves slugger Marcell Ozuna (R) had two hits and an RBI in his team's 7-0 win over the Miami Marlins on Thursday. File Photo by Tami Chappell/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 8 (UPI) -- The Atlanta Braves secured their first trip to the NL Championship Series since 2001 with a 7-0 win over the Miami Marlins on Thursday at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

Braves rookie right-hander Kyle Wright -- pitching for the first time since Sept. 25 -- dazzled across six innings in his postseason debut to complete the Braves' dominant three-game sweep of the Marlins in the NLDS. He allowed only three hits and walked two with a career-best seven strikeouts.

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A.J. Minter, Jacob Webb and Shane Greene finished the five-hitter, as the Braves became the second team in MLB history to throw four shutouts in their first five games in a single postseason. Atlanta joined the 1905 New York Giants, who won the World Series that year.

After two postseason rounds, the Braves have already thrown the most playoff shutouts in franchise history, surpassing the 1991 and 1996 teams that had three each. Atlanta is one shutout shy of tying the major league record for most in a single postseason -- set by the 2016 Cleveland Indians over 15 games.

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"It's pretty cool to have that many shutouts, and it points to how good we've been as a staff," Wright said.

The Braves had lost eight consecutive Division Series before outscoring the Marlins 18-5, including 11-0 in the last two games. Atlanta is 5-0 with a 0.92 ERA in the playoffs, allowing five runs across 49 innings.

"It's been fun," Braves catcher Travis d'Arnaud said. "They've just been executing."

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The Braves jumped in front with a four-run third inning. Marcell Ozuna struck first with an RBI single, followed by d'Arnaud's two-run double a few pitches later. Dansby Swanson scored d'Arnaud on a sacrifice fly to extend the lead to 4-0.

In the fourth, the Braves added another run when Ronald Acuna Jr. scored from first after center fielder Magneuris Sierra committed an error on a single by All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman.

Atlanta continued to pour it on in the fifth when Swanson scored Ozzie Albies on an RBI single. Adam Duvall sent Swanson home with a double to make it 7-0.

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Marlins starter Sixto Sanchez (0-1) went three innings and gave up four runs on four hits. He walked three and struck out two.

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Miami left fielder Corey Dickerson, who made a spectacular diving catch in the second to save multiple runs from scoring, had three of the Marlins' five hits on the day.

"We know it's not where we want to go, but we did give ourselves an opportunity this year," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "I think that's a step forward for us."

The Braves will play either the Los Angeles Dodgers or San Diego Padres in the NLCS starting Monday in Arlington, Texas.

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Miami Marlins players pose for a picture after defeating the Chicago Cubs 2-0 in the National League Wild Card Game to win their first playoff series in 17 years in Chicago on Friday. Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/UPI | License Photo

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