Sports

Miller makes Braves debut in finale with Marlins

(SportsNetwork.com) - Shelby Miller finished his 2014 on a strong note. Hopefully a change of scenery won't derail that momentum.

Miller will make his Atlanta Braves debut on Wednesday evening with a chance at pitching his new club to a sweep in the final contest of a three-game series with the Miami Marlins.

The 24-year-old Miller was acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals along with a minor leaguer on Nov. 17 for outfielder Jason Heyward and reliever Jordan Walden. The Braves are banking on Miller being a big part of their rotation for the foreseeable future after he won 15 games in 2013 before going 10-9 a year ago with a 3.74 earned run average in 32 games (31 starts).

Miller, the 19th overall pick of the 2009 draft by the Cardinals, did go 2-0 with a 2.55 ERA over his final eight starts of the 2014 campaign.

"I'm looking forward to a clean start to the season because getting traded over from St. Louis, you never really expect that," Miller told Atlanta's website. "It's everything I've known, being drafted by them and coming through the farm system and stuff like that.

"But it's exciting. You're getting traded from a good team to another. I'm excited about the opportunity with my new teammates. I think we have a great chance to do something special here in Atlanta, and I'm looking forward to helping however I can.

The right-hander is 0-1 with a 6.97 ERA in two career starts versus the Marlins, giving up eight runs and 17 hits over 10 1/3 innings.

The Marlins will go with right-hander Tom Koehler, who logged 191 1/3 innings over 32 starts last season, his second full campaign in the majors. He logged an even 10-10 record with a 3.81 ERA.

The 28-year-old is just 0-2 with a 3.15 ERA in nine career meetings with the Braves, including six starts, and did struggle a big this spring. Koehler went 0-1 with a 7.00 ERA in five games (4 starts), though he did not allow a home run until yielding three over four innings versus Washington on March 29.

Koehler will look to pitch deep into this game after Marlins starter Mat Latos was hammered in his debut with the club on Tuesday. Latos did not make it out of the first inning, recording just two outs while being charged with seven runs on six hits in the 12-2 setback.

"There was a little bit of jitters," Latos said. "There's no excuse. I embarrassed myself."

Donovan Solano posted an RBI triple and Dee Gordon drove in the other run for the Marlins.

Alex Wood allowed two runs on four hits while striking out four and walking three in five innings for Atlanta. He was given a 7-0 lead before he even took the mound.

"That wasn't what I was expecting," Wood said of the outburst. "I got an (at- bat) before I even got out there. Any time they want to do that I'm definitely alright with it."

Andrelton Simmons, Chris Johnson, Cameron Maybin and Freddie Freeman all drove in a pair of runs for the Braves as part of a 14-hit attack, while Nick Markakis added two hits, two runs scored and an RBI.

The Marlins went 10-9 versus the Braves last season.