National League Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, June 5th (All times Eastern)
Atlanta Braves (29-25) at Miami Marlins (31-23), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Atlanta - Tim Hudson (3-2, 4.60) Miami - Anibal Sanchez (3-3, 2.57)
(Sports Network) - Miami's Anibal Sanchez halted a three-start losing streak last time out to remain perfect against one National League East rival.
The Marlins right-hander now tries to find some rare success against another in the opener of a three-game series against the Atlanta Braves.
Sanchez picked up his first victory since May 3 on Tuesday versus the Nationals, giving up just one unearned run over seven innings while scattering three hits and a walk with five strikeouts. It was his ninth quality start in 10 outings this season and the seventh time in his last eight appearances he pitched seven innings.
"He threw strikes, changed speeds and located as well," said Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen of Sanchez, who moved to 3-3 with a 2.56 earned run average on the season.
The 28-year-old maintained a perfect career record versus the Nationals, but has struggled through most of his outings against the Braves. In 16 starts, he is just 4-10 with a 5.11 ERA in this series.
Braves starter Tim Hudson has excellent career numbers against the Marlins -- 11-4 with a 2.94 ERA in 22 starts -- but has struggled in consecutive outings since opening his season 3-1 with a 3.03 ERA in five starts. He'll try to avoid another setback this evening and improve on his season marks of 3-2 and a 4.60 ERA.
The 36-year-old righty was drilled for seven runs in 6 2/3 frames of a loss to the Nats on May 25 before facing the Cardinals on Wednesday. He pitched 5 2/3 innings, but allowed four of his five runs in the sixth on the way to a no- decision.
Both the Braves and Marlins will try to keep momentum going in this opener as they battle atop the National League East standings. Atlanta has won three of four since an eight-game slide and sits two games behind division co-leading Washington and Miami, which has won seven of nine.
The Braves split a rain-shortened series with the Nationals over the weekend, earning a split with Sunday's 3-1 win. Tommy Hanson rebounded after allowing two solo homers in the first inning to throw seven solid frames and Jason Heyward ripped a two-run single with two outs in the fifth frame to put Atlanta ahead.
"You want to be in that situation," Heyward said. "I want to be in that situation every time I hit. All I can do is go up there and battle and give myself the best opportunity. After that, it's out of my hands. It was huge to come through with the win and I was glad we could get Tommy the 'W' after the first inning."
The Braves are hopeful to have catcher Brian McCann back after he missed Sunday's game due to a bruised left knee. McCann was forced to exit Saturday's contest with the ailment after getting hit by a pitch.
The Marlins are also back in action following an off day and took two of three over the weekend in Philadelphia. They captured Sunday's rubber match 5-1 behind an all-around effort from starter Carlos Zambrano.
Zambrano pitched into the eighth inning and struck out seven while scattering four hits and a run. He also hit the 24th home run of his career and scored twice.
"Today he was very effective. He threw a lot of strikes," Guillen noted about Zambrano. "And at the plate, this kid was not a Silver Slugger a couple times ... for no reason. This guy is a good hitter."
Jose Reyes had a two-run double and extended his hitting streak to 14 games, while Hanley Ramirez homered for the third time in two games in the triumph.
The Braves won seven of nine over the Marlins as the guest last season.
06/05 10:48:27 ET