Braves, Marlins begin set at Marlins Park

Lefty Mike Minor will try to end a four-start winless drought on Monday night when the Atlanta Braves visit Marlins Park to begin their third three-game series of the season with the Miami Marlins.

The teams enter the series on opposite ends of the National League's East Division, with the Braves holding a four-game lead on the top end over the second-place Washington Nationals, while the Marlins are fifth in the five- team loop - 17 1/2 games off the pace.

Minor's most recent start came July 3 in Atlanta against Miami, which beat him, 6-3, after tagging him for four runs on six hits in six innings.

The start was the ninth of his career against the Marlins and dropped him to 2-3 in five decisions while pushing his earned run average to 4.56 in 47 1/3 innings.

Minor began 2013 with eight wins in his initial 10 decisions, but is 0-2 in four starts since - including the loss to the Marlins and a 4-3 loss to the New York Mets on June 20.

He is 6-1 in eight road starts this season with a 2.63 ERA in 51 1/3 innings.

For Miami, right-hander Kevin Slowey faces the Braves for the fifth time in his 118th career big-league appearance.

He is 1-2 in his first four contests with Atlanta, though he was touched for four runs on five hits in just two innings of Miami's 11-3 loss on July 2.

Slowey was 1-5 in his initial 10 appearances of 2013, but has won two of his last three decisions while shuttling back and forth between starting and relieving.

The most recent victory came June 26 against the Minnesota Twins, with Slowey tossing three scoreless innings with four hits allowed in a 5-3 victory.

On Sunday in Philadelphia, Domonic Brown went 2-for-4 with a triple, homer and two RBI to lead the Phillies to a 7-3 win over the Braves in the rubber match of a three-game set at Citizens Bank Park.

Chris Johnson hit a solo homer and Jason Heyward added an RBI for the Braves, losers in four of their last five.

Kris Medlen (6-8) allowed seven runs -- six earned -- on eight hits over 5 1/3 innings to snap a three-start winning streak. He struck out five and walked three in his first loss since June 14.

In St. Louis, Matt Holliday hit a solo homer and Lance Lynn spun seven strong innings as the Cardinals edged the Marlins, 3-2, to complete a three-game sweep at Busch Stadium.

Adeiny Hechavarria and Jeff Mathis drove in one run apiece for the Marlins, who have dropped four of their last six games.

Jose Fernandez (5-5) allowed three runs on four hits and four walks while fanning five over six innings to absorb the loss.

"They were just better than us," Fernandez said. "I thought I made some good pitches but it's not a secret for anybody, the Cardinals are one of the best teams in the league."

The Braves won four of the first six games against the Marlins this season in April and July - sweeping a three-game series in Miami and winning one of three in Atlanta.