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National League Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, May 16th (All times Eastern)
Miami Marlins (19-17) at Atlanta Braves (23-14), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Miami - Mark Buehrle (2-4, 2.81) Atlanta - Mike Minor (2-2, 6.59)
(Sports Network) - After watching their ace pick up his first victory in over a year, the Miami Marlins hope that Mark Buehrle can continue his season-long trend of quality starts this evening in the first of two straight games against the first-place Atlanta Braves.
In his first season with the Marlins, Buehrle has gone 2-4 despite a 2.81 earned run average, having allowed two runs or less in five of his seven outings.
The veteran left-hander threw a one-run complete game in a win at San Diego on May 5, then faced the Mets six days later at home. He did not factor into the decision of a 6-5 win, yielding two runs on eight hits and two walks over 6 2/3 frames.
Buehrle, 33, has won both of his previous career starts versus the Braves, posting a 3.21 ERA.
He'll take the hill tonight after Josh Johnson led the Marlins to a 6-2 win over the Pirates on Tuesday. Johnson gave up two runs over seven innings, striking out six to win for the first time since April of last year.
"It's nice to get a win for our team," Johnson said on Florida's official website. "I just wanted to go up there and get deep in the game and make pitches. I did pretty well."
Hanley Ramirez hit a pair of RBI doubles, while Omar Infante and John Buck drove in two runs each as Miami improved to 11-3 in the month of May. That has the Marlins 3 1/2 games behind the Braves for first place in the National League East.
Atlanta leads the division by a half-game over Washington following Tuesday's 6-2 victory against the Reds. Tim Hudson got the win with seven innings of two-run ball and was staked to a 6-0 lead by the end of the fourth as the Braves' offense got to Reds starter Johnny Cueto early.
"Any lead is nice for a starting pitcher," said Hudson about the run support he received. "Obviously coming into tonight, we thought runs were going to be tough to get. Cueto's been tough all year. We were able to get to him kind of early and catch him on a tough night."
Martin Prado finished with three hits, an RBI and a run scored, Michael Bourn also smacked three hits and scored twice and Brian McCann added a solo homer to help the Braves earn their fourth win in five tries.
Atlanta played without first baseman Freddie Freeman due to scratches on both of his eyes, though he is hopeful to return tonight.
Getting the start for Atlanta will be struggling left-hander Mike Minor, who is 0-1 in his last four starts and has posted an 11.81 ERA in his last three outings.
Minor lasted a season-low 4 2/3 frames on Friday in St. Louis, giving up six runs on eight hits with seven strikeouts in a no-decision.
"I felt good early on," he said on Atlanta's website. "They're a good hitting team, and they did what they are supposed to and hit some home runs off me."
The 24-year-old Minor's rough outing came just six days after he was touched for eight runs on 10 hits and four walks in five frames at Colorado.
Minor is 2-2 with a 6.59 ERA in seven starts this season and hold a lifetime ERA of 6.46 in three previous meetings with the Marlins without a decision.
The Braves won 12 of 18 last year versus the Marlins, but took just five of nine at home.
05/16 10:30:45 ET
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