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Braves return home to clash with Marlins

( - The Atlanta Braves are back home after their lengthy road trip and will begin a three-game series versus the Miami Marlins Friday night at Turner Field.

The Braves went 6-4 on their trip through Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and New York, and recently took two of three matchups with the Mets at Citi Field. In Thursday's 6-1 defeat of the Mets, Ryan Doumit hit a two-run homer and Emilio Bonifacio finished with four hits, two RBI and a run scored.

Mike Minor pitched seven strong innings, allowing just one run and four hits, and collected two hits, an RBI and a run scored at the plate.

"Today he got it done," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Minor. "His curveball was probably the best pitch, other than the command of his fastball. He had a nice mix going."

Atlanta had a 13-4 edge in hits and won for the ninth time in 13 tries. It has won three in a row at home and sits 1 1/2 games off the second wild card spot in the Nationals League. The Braves are six games behind Washington for the lead in the NL East.

Ervin Santana gets the ball for the Braves Friday and hopes to bounce back from his recent loss on Saturday at Cincinnati. He allowed the game's only run and lasted seven innings, finishing with seven strikeouts and a walk. Santana had won three straight starts and six decisions in a row.

The right-hander is 9-2 in 12 starts at Turner Field this season and 2-2 with a 4.64 ERA in six career starts against the Marlins.

Miami is back on the east coast and will play the final leg of its nine-game road trip. The club lost two of three games to the LA Angels and dropped Wednesday's rubber match, 6-1.

Henderson Alvarez was touched for five runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings to absorb the loss, while Adeiny Hechavarria went 3-for-3 with a home run.

"We got down early and didn't get much going offensively," said Marlins manager Mike Redmond. "We just couldn't get it going."

The Marlins are 5 1/2 games out of the second wild card spot in the NL and 2-4 so far on this current road trip.

Taking the mound for the Marlins Friday will be Tom Koehler, who has a 9-9 mark to go along with a 3.82 ERA. Koehler is 2-0 in his last three starts and did not register a decision in Saturday's 5-4 loss at Colorado, as he pitched well in allowing three runs over seven innings.

Koehler has made 14 road starts this season, going 3-5 in that time, and is aiming for his first win against the Braves. The right-hander has faced Atlanta eight times (5 starts) in his career and is 0-2 with a 3.18 ERA.

Miami has a slight 7-6 edge on Atlanta this season and has won three of the past four meetings between the NL East foes.

08/29 10:42:02 ET

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