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Braves eye series split against Dodgers
(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Braves have either won or tied their last six series and look to keep the trend going Sunday in the finale of a four-game set against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
After losing the first two tests of this series at Dodger Stadium, the Braves fought back with Saturday's 2-1 win behind an admirable performance from starter Kris Medlen. Medlen kept the Dodgers off the board in 6 2/3 innings of work, struck out six and allowed just one walk.
Medlen, a native of Los Angeles, helped his own cause with a solo home run.
"For the most part I controlled the walks and attacked the strike zone. For me to hit my first home run in Dodger Stadium is great. I dreamed of this as a kid," Medlen said.
Dan Uggla also went deep and Andrelton Simmons collected three hits for Atlanta, which won for the sixth time in eight tries and is 7 1/2 games ahead of Philadelphia for the NL East lead.
The Braves will start a three-game series in Atlanta on Monday.
Hoping to pitch the Braves to a series split Sunday will be Mike Minor. The leader of the Atlanta rotation in wins (7), ERA (2.52) and strikeouts (72), Minor is 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in his last six starts -- all Atlanta wins.
Minor, though, did not record a decision in Tuesday's 5-4 win versus Pittsburgh and gave up four runs -- two earned -- and four hits in six innings. He fanned six batters and did not allow a walk. Minor is 7-2 in 12 starts and has faced L.A. four times in his career, going 0-1 with a 2.52 ERA.
The Dodgers had won two in a row and four of five games until Saturday's close loss. Hanley Ramirez, who is expected back in the starting lineup Sunday after a three-game absence, had the lone RBI in a pinch-hitting role and young phenom Yasiel Puig collected two hits. Puig is batting .435 with four homers, 10 RBI and 10 hits in six games.
Stephen Fife was dealt the loss for giving up both runs and nine hits, two of which were homers, in 6 2/3 innings for the Dodgers, who are 4-2 on a 10-game homestand and will entertain Arizona for three games in the next series.
"Fife was really good and had control of his fastball and curve. It took two solo homers to beat him," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.
Matt Magill gets the call for Mattingly's club Sunday and he is 0-1 with a 6.38 ERA in five starts. Magill made the fifth start of his career a week ago in a 7-2 loss at Colorado, where he was tagged for seven runs -- six earned -- in six innings of work. He also walked nine batters with five K's.
"I just couldn't find it today," Magill said afterward. "I didn't feel my legs underneath me. I knew it would be a battle from the beginning. I just tried to go as long as I could. I knew my job was to go as long as I could."
Magill, a right-hander, got the chance with Ted Lilly, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Chris Capuano uncertain with health issues.
"I feel like I had my hands tied behind my back today," Mattingly said at the time. "You do what you have to do."
Magill faced the Braves in a 5-2 loss on May 19 at Turner Field and did not receive a decision after he allowed one run in five innings with a career-high eight strikeouts to three walks.
The Braves swept that three-game set versus the Dodgers in mid-May.
06/09 09:36:40 ET