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
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
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