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Miami at Atlanta

Venue: Turner Field
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Sitting comfortably atop the NL East, the Atlanta Braves know better than to overlook the last-place Miami Marlins.

Doing so could prove costly with manager Mike Redmond's club playing much better of late.

The Braves try to continue their domination of the visiting Marlins, who aim for a season-high fourth consecutive win in Tuesday night's series opener.

Freddie Freeman hit a three-run homer and Brian McCann and Dan Uggla also went deep as Atlanta (48-34) completed a three-game sweep of Arizona with Sunday's 6-2 victory. Winners in five of six overall, the Braves have gone an NL-best 20-6 at home since May 5.

"We couldn't be in a better place, really," said manager Fredi Gonzalez, whose club is six games ahead of second-place Washington. "We're pitching good and we feel like we haven't swung the bats like we're capable of swinging, so you feel good. It's a good place to be."

The Braves now turn their attention to a Marlins team that's dropped 17 of 20 in the series, including the last seven by a 29-7 margin. Atlanta outscored Miami 13-2 during a three-game road sweep April 8-10.

"Obviously the Marlins are behind us, but we know they're going to come in here and try to spoil," said Freeman, batting .433 with two homers and seven RBIs in his last eight home games versus Miami. "That's what guys that are chugging along are going to do. We're pretty good at home, so hopefully we can keep this going."

While the Marlins (30-51) own the NL's worst record, they've won six of seven and 17 of their last 27. Miami just took three straight from San Diego by a 17-3 margin, including Monday's 4-0 victory.

After hitting a walkoff grand slam in Sunday's 6-2 win, Jeff Mathis stayed hot with two hits and three RBIs. The Marlins haven't won four in a row since June 27-July 1, 2012.

"We're playing really good baseball, and the team feels great," said winning pitcher Jose Fernandez, who struck out 10 in eight innings.

Miami's starters have compiled a 2.45 ERA over the last 14 games.

"We're starting to see the rotation and how good these guys are," Redmond told MLB's official website.

The Marlins will surely be looking for a better performance from Tom Koehler (1-5, 4.78 ERA). The right-hander allowed three runs, four hits and a career-high four walks over four innings - his shortest start of the season - in Wednesday's 5-3 win over Minnesota. He gave up all three runs in the first.

"After a rough start like that, you can either mail it in or fight as long as you can or as long as Red would allow me to go," said Koehler, who's never started against the Braves. "I was disappointed in myself that I wasn't able to get five innings."

Atlanta counters with Kris Medlen (5-7, 3.02), who's 4-1 with a 2.14 ERA in his last five starts while striking out 28 and walking two in 33 2-3 innings. The right-hander surrendered three runs and seven hits in seven innings last Tuesday in a 4-3 victory at Kansas City.

"You know how stressful it is trying to locate 89 every pitch?" Medlen said. "It's not very fun, but it's a tough skill to do. It's why I'm hanging around."

Medlen has been especially good in six games - four starts - against the Marlins since the start of last year, going 3-0 with a 1.16 ERA. Giancarlo Stanton is 1 for 8 in their matchups, but that hit was a home run. Placido Polanco, meanwhile, is 5 for 8 with a double.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Weather
weather image  Isolated tstorms late. More clouds than sun. Warm.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
83°F69°F8mph/S63%34%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Miami5th NL East610.37551-9 L 1
Atlanta1st NL East104.714-7-3 W 5
Probable Starters

Tom Koehler, HP
2013 stats
64.0 Innings Pitched 98.1
1-5 Wins-Losses 5-7
4.78 Earned Run Average 3.02
23 Walks 26
37 Strikeouts 76
91 Pitches Per Start 98
Career vs. opponent
4.0 Innings Pitched 52.0
0-0 Wins-Losses 3-1
0.00 Earned Run Average 2.42

Kris Medlen, RHP
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Kris Medlen
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Nolasco110001.000
Polanco85000.625
Dobbs174003.235
Pierre51000.200
Brantly71010.143
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Tom Koehler
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Carpenter000000
Freeman100010
Gearrin000000
Heyward200010
Hudson000000
 

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Injuries
Miami
PlayerInjury
R. FurcalHamstring
E. LucasHand
J. TurnerShoulder
Atlanta
PlayerInjury
B. BeachyElbow
G. FloydElbow
C. GearrinElbow
C. KimbrelShoulder
K. MedlenElbow
M. MinorShoulder
J. VentersElbow
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 14PHIATL 9-6Avilan Diekman 
Apr 15PHIPPD   
Apr 16PHIATL 1-0Teheran Lee 
Apr 17PHI 1:05 PM EDT  
Jun 16ATL 7:10 PM EDT  
Jun 17ATL 7:10 PM EDT  
Jun 18ATL12:10 PM EDT  
Jun 27PHI 7:05 PM EDT  
Jun 28PHI 3:05 PM EDT  
Jun 29PHI 1:35 PM EDT  
Jul 18ATL 7:35 PM EDT  
Jul 19ATL 7:10 PM EDT  
Jul 20ATL 1:35 PM EDT  
Sep 1ATL 1:10 PM EDT  
Sep 2ATL 7:10 PM EDT  
Sep 3ATL12:10 PM EDT  
Sep 26PHI 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 27PHI 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 28PHI 1:35 PM EDT