Medlen strong in return to starting role; Braves down Marlins

Kris Medlen's long road back to the rotation ended in the rain, but it did not prevent him from picking up the Braves' seventh straight win, a 7-1 triumph over the Miami Marlins.

Medlen (2-1) only pitched two games in 2011 recovering from Tommy John surgery and started 2012 in the bullpen, but the right-hander held the Marlins to one run on four hits and a walk in five innings in his first start since 2010. He added three strikeouts as the Braves took the second portion of the four-game set.

Brian McCann closed out July with his career-best ninth home run of the month and Tyler Pastornicky hit his second career home run for the Braves, who have taken 10 of 13.

"We're rolling pretty well," Pastornicky said. "I think we made some good additions to the team. Everyone's kind of excited about that. We're just looking forward to keep playing well."

The Braves lit up Ricky Nolasco (8-10) for the second time in a week. After crushing him for six runs on Wednesday, Atlanta tagged the right-hander for four runs on seven hits and four walks in five innings.

Jose Reyes extended his hitting streak to 18 games with a first-inning infield single and Donnie Murphy slammed a solo homer, but they could not prevent the Fish from losing for the 10th time in their last 13 games.

Murphy, the second hitter of the game, put the Marlins on top with an opposite-field home run to right-center field, but Atlanta quickly responded with three runs in the bottom half of the first.

Martin Prado and Jason Heyward reached base with one-out singles and advanced to second and third on a balk. Prado scored on a McCann groundout before Nolasco walked Freddie Freeman and Dan Uggla to load the bases. Juan Francisco, playing in place of Chipper Jones, lined a single to right, plating two more runs.

"I didn't give in and just tried to gut it out as long as I could," Nolasco said. "A good team gives me a 1-0 lead, and I come in and give up three, it just sucks all the energy right out of the team. It's not what you're looking to do as a starting pitcher."

McCann hammered an 0-2 slider over the right-field fence to give Atlanta a 4-1 lead in the third inning.

After a 1 hour, 53 minute rain delay following the fifth inning, the Braves' offense did not miss a beat.

Pastornicky, pinch hitting, belted a solo shot to left. Bourn then singled and reached second on an error before Heyward scored him with a liner up the middle, giving the Braves a 6-1 lead after six.

Freeman singled in McCann, who crushed a two-out double, to round out the scoring in the eighth.

Cory Gearrin, Chad Durbin, Eric O'Flaherty and Jair Jurrjens, making his first career relief appearance, combined for four scoreless innings in relief of Medlen to lock up the win.

Game Notes

McCann has seven career home runs against Nolasco in 54 career at-bats...The Braves have won eight of their last nine against Miami...The Marlins traded Edward Mujica to St. Louis for infielder Zack Cox and dealt first baseman Gaby Sanchez and pitcher Kyle Kaminska to the Pirates for outfielder Gorkys Hernandez and Pittsburgh's competitive balance draft pick prior to the game...The Braves optioned outfielder Jose Constanza to Triple-A Gwinnett prior to the game to make room for outfielder Reed Johnson, who the club acquired in a trade Monday night...Atlanta also placed pitcher Tommy Hanson on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain and recalled Gearrin from Gwinnett...Atlanta is a season-high 15 games over .500...The Braves have won 10 of their last 12 at home...Pastornicky hit his first career pinch-hit home run...Francisco picked up his third three-hit game of the season.