National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, August 2nd
(All times eastern)
Miami Marlins (48-56) at Atlanta Braves (59-45), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Miami - Nathan Eovaldi (2-6, 3.94)
Atlanta - Mike Minor (6-7, 5.18)
(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Braves didn't lose any ground in the NL East
race after having their seven-game winning streak broken, and target a series
win this evening in the finale of a four-game set versus the Miami Marlins at
Atlanta was aiming for its eighth win in a row last night, but dropped a 4-2
decision when starting pitcher Ben Sheets suffered through his shakiest outing
of the season. Sheets was 3-0 entering the game in his long return back to the
majors and gave up four runs, three of which were earned, in 6 2/3 innings.
"It stinks when you're riding a long winning streak," Sheets said. "In the
first inning, I gave them the momentum right out of the gate, the momentum we
earned over seven games."
Paul Janish and Dan Uggla both had an RBI and Freddie Freeman collected three
hits and a run scored for the Braves, who are still 2 1/2 games behind
Washington for the NL East lead. The Nationals dropped their second in a row
to Philadelphia last night.
Atlanta will host Houston for three games over the weekend. The Braves are set
to hand Mike Minor the ball this evening and he is 3-1 with a 2.78 earned run
average in his last five starts. Minor is coming off one of the more
impressive performances of the season and limited Philadelphia to a run and
four hits with nine strikeouts and no walks over eight innings of Saturday's
Minor pulled himself one win from the .500 mark at 6-7 in 19 starts to go
along with a pedestrian 5.18 ERA. The left-hander, who is 4-2 in nine
appearances at Turner Field this season, has faced Miami three times this
season, going 1-2 with a 4.86 ERA. Minor lost at Miami on July 23 and is 1-2
with a 5.63 ERA in six career starts against the Marlins.
Miami hopes to earn a split of this series and won for the third time in five
tries last night behind a solid performance from its pitching staff.
Wade Leblanc got the nod in place of the inconsistent Carlos Zambrano and did
not record a decision with 4 1/3 innings of one-run ball. However, Zambrano
came on in relief of Leblanc and recorded the win. Big Z struck out two and
was reached for a run in 1 2/3 innings of work.
"Tough one. A very tough one," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "We jumped
out right away with three runs. It was a little different ballgame. It's a
different ballgame when we score early, putting three runs on the board. We
Carlos Lee, Greg Dobbs and Bryan Petersen each knocked in a run and Jose Reyes
finished 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 19 games - one shy of
matching his career high set in 2005 with the New York Mets. The Marlins were
able to halt a seven-game road slide and haven't won back-to-back road games
in almost a month.
Miami will head to Washington for four games after this series with Atlanta.
Nathan Eovaldi hopes the second start with the Marlins goes as smoothly as the
first, as he will take the mound tonight. Eovaldi was acquired from the Los
Angeles Dodgers last week in the Hanley Ramirez deal and defeated San Diego on
Saturday with 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball in a 4-2 victory. He fanned five
batters and issued just two walks.
"I worked ahead a lot. Me and (catcher John) Buck got on the same page early
in the game, and they made great plays behind me," Eovaldi said afterward.
Eovaldi is 2-1 in his previous three decisions and is 2-6 with a 3.94 earned
run average in 11 starts with both L.A. and Miami. The right-hander faced
Atlanta for the first time in his career last Sept. 3 in a 2-1 win at Turner
Field and held the hosts to a run and three hits in six innings.
The Marlins improved to 3-8 against the Braves this season with Wednesday's
08/02 10:23:20 ET