National League Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, July 31st (All times Eastern)
Miami Marlins (47-55) at Atlanta Braves (58-44), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Miami - Ricky Nolasco (8-9, 4.80) Atlanta - Kris Medlen (1-1, 2.48)
(Sports Network) - Jason Heyward and the Atlanta Braves look to keep rolling when they resume a four-game series versus the Miami Marlins tonight at Turner Field.
Heyward has homered in two straight games and owns three in the past five, including Monday's 8-2 win over the Marlins in the series opener. He finished with two hits and three runs scored for Atlanta, which extended its winning streak to six games and sits 3 1/2 games behind Washington for the NL East lead. Heyward homered on consecutive days for the first time since July 21-22.
Freddie Freeman had three hits, an RBI and a run scored, while Michael Bourn, Dan Uggla and Juan Francisco were credited with two RBI. Braves starter Tommy Hanson ran his record to 12-5 and fired five innings of one-run ball, helping the club end its Monday woes. The Braves won on a Monday for the first time since Aug. 22, 2011.
"It was a good win," Hanson said. "Finally got us a win on Monday."
The Braves have won nine of their last 11 at home and moved a season high 14 games over .500. They also acquired starting pitcher Paul Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson from the Chicago Cubs on Monday in exchange for two minor league pitchers.
"It was a perfect fit for us," Braves general manager Frank Wren said on the club's website. "We got two real key pieces for us that we were looking for. If we are done, if nothing else materializes for us tomorrow, we'll be very happy with where we are right now."
Kris Medlen gets the call for Atlanta tonight and hasn't started since August of 2010 because of Tommy John surgery. Medlen gets the call and has appeared in 38 games with a 2.48 ERA in 54 1/3 innings. The right-hander threw three scoreless innings of relief in a 7-1 win at Miami on Wednesday and is 0-1 with a 3.60 ERA in 12 career games (2 starts) against Miami.
"I just want to be effective and try to go as deep as I can with the pitch count I'm given," Medlen said on the team's site. "I need to make them last."
The Marlins could make some moves before today's trade deadline and that could mean the end of the Josh Johnson era. Johnson expressed his feelings on the Marlins' website about possibly leaving the only team he's ever known.
"This is all I know," Johnson said. "They've had me from the very beginning. I feel I owe it to them. The guys here are awesome. This is my favorite team ever to have been on, for sure. The guys here are great. We have fun."
Miami's record would say otherwise, as the club sits second to last in the NL East standings at 14 1/2 games off the lead. The team had a modest two-game winning streak stopped in Monday's setback and lost for the ninth time in 12 tries. Mark Buehrle didn't have his stuff and was tagged for six runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings.
"Three consecutive for me, go out in five innings," Buehrle said. "That's really not acceptable. Like I said, I'm just falling behind too much and having to make pitches in tough spots behind in the count."
Jose Reyes picked up an extra-base hit for the sixth straight game and extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a pair of doubles. Reyes had a personal-best 20-game hit streak with the Mets back in 2005. Carlos Lee finished with three hits for Miami, which opened an 11-game road trip. The club will also visit the Nationals and Mets.
Ricky Nolasco hopes to pitch the Marlins past Atlanta when he toes the rubber Tuesday. Nolasco, though, has dropped three straight starts and is only 2-6 in his previous eight decisions. He last took the mound in Wednesday's 7-1 loss to the Braves and was rocked for six runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 frames, falling to 8-9 in 20 starts with a 4.80 ERA.
Nolasco, a right-hander, is 5-9 with a 5.18 ERA in 22 career games (21 starts) against the Braves.
The Marlins are only 2-7 against Atlanta this season.
07/31 10:53:52 ET