Right-hander Kris Medlen can remain unbeaten as a starter tonight when the Atlanta Braves visit the Miami Marlins to wrap up a three- game midweek series at Marlins Park.
A 26-year-old Californian, Medlen opened the season with 38 consecutive relief outings and a 2.48 earned run average before debuting as a first-inning pitcher against the Marlins on July 31.
That outing resulted in a five-inning, one-run stint and a 7-1 win for the Braves and Medlen hasn't looked back, winning six more decisions in eight more starts while actually trimming his ERA to 1.62.
Medlen has pitched at least seven innings in four of the last five games since Aug. 22 - including a pair of complete game - and allowed a single run in seven innings in a no-decision against Washington in his last start.
Medlen is 5-0 in 25 road outings this season. Prior to 2012, he had started 18 games in 108 big-league appearances.
He's opposed by 28-year-old Miami righty Josh Johnson, who goes for a second win in three starts after a five-start drought between Aug. 9-Sept. 1.
Johnson defeated Milwaukee, 6-2, on Sept. 6 to end the skid after allowing two runs on four hits in seven innings.
He returned to go seven innings in one subsequent outing while taking a tough- luck 3-1 loss at Philadelphia on Sept. 12.
An 11-game winner in 2010, Johnson has struggled with injuries since while winning just 11 games in 2011 and 2012 combined.
He's 6-4 lifetime against the Braves, including a 2-1 win in Miami on July 23 in which he gave up a single hit in six innings.
On Tuesday, Jose Reyes hit a two-out, 10th-inning RBI single and the Marlins overcame a late rally to secure a 4-3 win.
Nathan Eovaldi tossed eight shutout innings for the Marlins. The righty, who was looking to snap a four-start losing streak, allowed just four hits and departed with a 3-0 lead, but was dealt a no-decision courtesy of a ninth- inning Atlanta rally.
Jason Heyward began the ninth with a double and Chipper Jones followed with a walk before Dan Uggla made it 3-1 with a one-out line drive single to center off Steve Cishek.
Brian McCann then greeted Mike Dunn with a deep fly ball to left field, which hit the wall beyond the outstretched glove of a leaping Justin Ruggiano and plated a pair for a 3-3 game.
"It's a big park and I don't hit a lot of home runs to left-center field," McCann said. "I knew was gonna be a long shot but I knew I hit it good."
The Marlins placed runners on first and third with no outs in the bottom half, but Jonny Venters struck out Ruggiano and Bryan Petersen before Cory Gearrin entered to face John Buck.
Buck was 2-for-2 entering the at-bat. The Marlins catcher tripled and scored on Gorkys Hernandez's single in the third, then belted a two-run homer in the seventh, but he grounded out to second on Gearrin's first offering to end the ninth.
Heath Bell (3-5) tossed a 1-2-3 10th for the Marlins, who placed runners on first and second in the bottom half when Rob Brantly walked and Hernandez was hit by a pitch.
After a strikeout, Reyes looped a full-count changeup from Gearrin (0-1) over the head Uggla in shallow right field to push across the winning run.
"We haven't won that many games this year," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Every time we win a game it's exciting."
Paul Maholm allowed two runs on four hits over 6 2/3 innings for the NL Wild Card-leading Braves, who had won four straight, including the opener of this three-game series on Monday.
Atlanta shortstop Paul Janish suffered a dislocated shoulder in the ninth inning when he made a diving stop on Reyes' infield single.
Atlanta won nine of the first 12 games between the teams this season, including three of four at Turner Field from July 30-Aug. 2. The Braves won last year's season series, 12 games to six.