For an Atlanta Braves team that has struggled to win games over the last two weeks, Kris Medlen has been a welcome addition to the starting rotation.
The right-hander seeks to extend an impressive scoreless-innings streak Monday afternoon as the Braves kick off a four-game series with the Colorado Rockies.
After pitching 38 games in relief this season, Medlen joined the rotation on July 31 and has gone 5-0 with a 0.66 earned run average in six starts, allowing three runs and striking out 38 to five walks over 40 2/3 innings.
Even better, the 26-year-old has thrown three straight scoreless outings and hasn't allowed a run in his last 28 1/3 innings. That includes Tuesday against the San Diego Padres, who he held to five hits over eight innings while fanning nine without a walk.
"It doesn't matter to me," said Medlen of the scoreless-innings streak. "We're winning games. That's all that really matters."
Medlen's six-start unbeaten streak has also extended another impressive run. Atlanta hasn't lost in any of the past 17 games that Medlen has started dating all the way back to 2010.
The former 10th-round pick is 0-1 with a 6.55 ERA in five career meetings with the Rockies, including two starts. He faced them in relief back on May 4, hurling 1 2/3 scoreless frames.
Atlanta won for just the fifth time in 15 games on Sunday, but it wasn't easy.
Chipper Jones capped a five-run ninth inning with a three-run, walk-off homer that lifted the Braves to an 8-7 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies and snapped a three-game slide.
Martin Prado notched a two-run double prior to Jones' blast, which kept Atlanta 6 1/2 games behind the Washington Nationals for first place in the NL East.
"It's huge for us," Jones said. "Wins have been hard to come by lately. Sometimes you need to go out and win a game that you probably should have lost. Hopefully this starts something and can propel us forward."
Atlanta does own the first wild card position in the NL and looks to make it two wins in a row on Monday as it faces Colorado's Tyler Chatwood.
Chatwood is coming off his third victory in four decisions as he held the Los Angeles Dodgers to a pair of runs on five hits and three walks over five innings of an 8-4 triumph on Tuesday. The 22-year-old righty moved to 4-3 with a save and 4.81 ERA in 13 games (6 starts) this season.
Chatwood faced the Braves for the first time in his career as a rookie last season with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He picked up a win, yielding only one run over seven innings.
Colorado took the final two contests of its three-game series with the San Diego Padres, winning Sunday's rubber match by an 11-10 margin.
Chris Nelson smashed one of three Colorado homers, a go-ahead, three-run shot in the seventh inning.
"It's very exciting," Nelson said. "These are the things you dream about as a kid. I was thinking about it in the on-deck circle, but for it to actually come true is pretty special."
Ramon Hernandez and Tyler Colvin each hit two-run homer, while Jordan Pacheco went 2-for-4 with two RBI and Dexter Fowler had a pair of RBI singles among his three hits for the Rockies.
The Braves swept a three-game series at Colorado from May 4-6, giving it a win in four straight and nine of the previous 11 encounters.