Braves hope Beachy can stop bleeding versus Florida

Brandon Beachy has been everything the Braves could have year- game series this evening with the Florida Marlins.

Beachy is a solid 7-2 with a 3.29 earned run average in 22 starts this year, while his 142 strikeouts a single-season best for a rookie in Atlanta's history. He hasn't lost since July 19 and has recorded a win in four straight decisions.

The right-hander has not factored into the decision of his last two outings, though he pitched well in Philadelphia on Wednesday. He gave up a run on two hits and struck out seven, leaving with the game tied.

Beachy is 1-0 with a 3.26 ERA in three starts versus the Marlins and struck out 10 the last time he faced them on Aug. 9. He has fanned Emilio Bonifacio, John Buck and Greg Dobbs three times each this season.

The Braves will lean on their freshman hurler after getting swept in three games over the weekend by the Cardinals. Losses in eight of their last 11 games has lowered the Braves' lead over the Cards for the National League's Wild Card spot to just 4 1/2 games.

Chipper Jones hit a home run, but Tim Hudson was charged with six runs over six innings. After walking in a run in the third inning, he yielded a bases- clearing double to Yadier Molina to extend the big frame.

"The bases-loaded walk really hurt and obviously the bases-clearing double," said Hudson. "It was a back breaker."

Atlanta did sweep a three-game set when it visited Florida in early August and has won nine of the 12 meetings this year. The clubs have split six contests at Turner Field so far in 2011.

While Atlanta turns to a streaking starter, the Marlins are hoping that Chris Volstad can find the win column for the first time since July 10 tonight.

The right-hander did avoid a fifth straight losing start on Tuesday versus the Mets as he turned in an encouraging outing. Volstad was charged with two runs on six hits and three walks over six innings, striking out three in a no- decision.

"I was able to keep the team right there. I threw well. It was a good battle tonight," said Volstad, who is 5-12 with a 5.37 ERA on the season.

The 24-year-old has lost a pair of starts to the Braves this season and is 2-4 with a 4.28 ERA against them lifetime.

The Marlins come to town having swept a three-game set with the Pirates, finishing off the feat with Sunday's 4-1 triumph. Donnie Murphy drove in two of the runs and Javier Vazquez tossed six scoreless frames to move to 10-11 on the year.

Vazquez worked around three hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. His outing left manager Jack McKeon rooting for him down the stretch.

"I hope we can get [Vazquez] to 12-11," said McKeon. "He's a classy kid, he never complains, he's always ready and he does whatever you want him to do."

Leo Nunez faced the minimum in the ninth to earn his 34th save of the year.