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National League Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, May 17th (All times Eastern)
Miami Marlins (20-17) at Atlanta Braves (23-15), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Miami - Ricky Nolasco (4-1, 3.65) Atlanta - Brandon Beachy (4-1, 1.60)
(Sports Network) - Perhaps the prospect of becoming the Marlins' all-time wins leader threw Ricky Nolasco off his game last week.
The right-hander takes a second shot at sole possession of the honor tonight when Miami tries to hand Atlanta Braves starter Brandon Beachy his first loss since early April in the finale of a quick two-game series.
Nolasco matched Dontrelle Willis' club mark of 68 wins with a victory at San Diego on May 6. He then set his attention on win No. 69 last Saturday versus the Mets, but instead took his first loss of the season after putting together his shortest outing of the campaign.
The 29-year lasted just 4 2/3 innings and set season highs with six runs and nine hits allowed. He also walked three batters after issuing three passes in total over his previous three outings.
"I did a bad job of deciding what to throw in certain situations," said Nolasco, who fell to 4-1 with a 3.65 earned run average.
After failing to set the new franchise record at home, Nolasco will look to do so in Atlanta and is 3-0 with a 2.15 ERA in four road starts this season. He is 5-7 lifetime versus the Braves with a 4.80 ERA in 20 games (19 starts).
Beachy has 57 fewer wins in his major league career, which has spanned just 35 starts, but he has been near unbeatable this season. He is 4-1 with a 1.60 ERA in seven starts, having not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his outings.
Beachy has won four straight decisions since his season-opening loss in Houston on April 9 and won his second start in a row on Saturday in St. Louis. The right-hander threw six innings of one-run ball, scattering two hits and four walks while striking out six in a 7-2 win.
The 25-year-old said the run support helped him be aggressive.
"I can go right after guys when I fall behind 2-0 like I did quite a bit tonight," Beachy said. "I can come back and get a guy out whereas if that's a [0-0] game, I have to be a little more fine in those counts."
Beachy has faced the Marlins five times prior, going 1-0 with a 4.01 ERA.
Miami continued its May surge in Wednesday's opener by moving to 12-3 in the month after doubling up Atlanta. Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run homer in an 8-4 win, which also featured two RBI from both Austin Kearns and Emilio Bonifacio.
Jose Reyes stole home in the Marlins' fifth victory in seven games, while Mark Buehrle got the win, allowing four runs over six innings.
"We're finally playing like we should be," said Stanton. "The stolen bases helped tonight because they always throw the pitcher off. If he's worrying about the runners, he's not paying attention to the hitter as much."
Martin Prado went 3-for-4 with a run scored and Dan Uggla added two hits and an RBI for the Braves, who have dropped two of three and fell a half-game behind the Nationals for first place in the National League East.
Mike Minor was charged with six runs on six hits with three walks over just 4 2/3 innings to take the loss.
"They got a couple of hits and I got out of my rhythm," said Minor. "Just wasn't making any strong pitches and they hit them. It kind of just kept on going, they kept getting more hits and more runs."
The Braves won 12 of 18 last year versus the Marlins, but took just five of nine at home.
05/17 10:48:28 ET
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