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Braves host Marlins aiming for 14th straight win

The Atlanta Braves are on a roll and look to keep their lengthy winning streak intact when they open a nine-game homestand Friday with the first of three straight games versus the Miami Marlins at Turner Field.

The Braves have ripped off 13 wins in a row, their longest winning streak since a 15-game run from April 16-May 2, 2000.

Atlanta has swept St. Louis, Colorado, Philadelphia and Washington during this impressive run and handed the Nationals a 6-3 defeat on Wednesday. Kris Medlen tossed seven innings of three-run ball, David Carpenter hurled a scoreless eighth inning and Craig Kimbrel closed the Nationals out in the ninth for his 36th save.

Justin Upton went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI and his brother, B.J., led the team with four hits.

"This team we have here -- from our starting lineup to our bullpen to our starting pitching -- this is the best team I've played on," Braves catcher Brian McCann said. "Everybody is young. This is a team that can do this for a while. This is a fun team."

The Braves have a commanding 15 1/2-game lead on Washington in the NL East and are closing in on a division title. They have won seven in a row at home and are 38-15 at Turner Field this season.

Brandon Beachy will make his third start of the season for the Braves Friday and has no record and a 9.00 earned run average in his first two starts. Beachy last toed the rubber in Saturday's 5-4 win at Philadelphia and was reached for four runs (3 earned) in 6 1/3 innings.

Beachy has made five career starts against the Marlins, going 2-0 with a 2.94 ERA.

Miami has lost five in a row and was swept in three games by Pittsburgh to open a nine-game road trip.

In a 5-4 loss in 10 innings on Thursday, Christian Yelich finished 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBI and a pair of runs scored and Placido Polanco added two hits and an RBI in defeat.

Steven Ames was dealt the loss for permitting the go-ahead run to score on a Russell Martin base hit. The Marlins blew a 4-0 lead and starter Jose Fernandez allowed two runs in five innings.

"It was a tough one, for sure, no doubt," Fernandez said. "I threw a lot of pitches. I had to do a lot of work out there. I'm trying to be perfect every time out there. I'm trying to. We played a good game. They came out on top, but our team had a chance to win."

Jacob Turner draws the start for Miami Friday and he is 3-3 with a 2.68 earned run average in 12 starts. Turner is 0-2 in his previous four outings with consecutive no-decisions, including a 4-3 loss to Cleveland on Saturday. The right-hander pitched well and was reached for two runs through six innings.

Turner defeated the Braves on July 10 with seven innings of two-run ball and is 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA in two career starts against them.

The Marlins have lost six of nine meetings with the Braves this season.

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