As the second month of the season comes to a close, a three-game set between the Atlanta Braves (28-25) and the host Miami Marlins (28-25) will decide first in the National League East.
The last time these two clubs met, the Braves publicly questioned how the Marlins swept them in the dominating fashion that they did.
Miami outscored Atlanta, 23-7, pounding out consecutive nine-run outbursts against lefty Alex Wood and righty Aaron Harang at Marlins Park.
Julio Teheran will start the series opener against Tom Koehler, who will be working on an extra day of rest after a rainout in Washington. Teheran has pitched 15 consecutive scoreless innings, but in his last road outing in San Francisco gave up five runs (four earned) on seven hits with five walks in 3 1/3 innings.
Ervin Santana got the no decision last month against the Marlins, allowing three runs on five hits with five strikeouts and three walks in six frames. Jacob Turner, fresh off his first victory in 17 starts dating back to last July, has never won two consecutive games.
Harang, who boasted baseball’s lowest ERA on May 1, surrendered nine runs on 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings. Nathan Eovaldi, meanwhile, allowed just one run on three hits in seven frames. Their rematch will close the series.
Atlanta has dropped 10 of its last 12 road games. After being swept by the Boston Red Sox on Thursday, the Braves have lost four in a row. Miami leads the majors with a 20-8 home record. The Marlins captured their first road series with a pair of wins in Washington this week.
Here’s a look at the upcoming Braves-Marlins series…
SCHEDULE AND PROBABLE PITCHERS
LF Justin Upton (Braves): Upton is batting .417 (15-for-36) over his past 10 games with two homers, four runs and 11 RBI. His averaged has jumped from .288 to .308. He has multiple hits in two of his past four games.
3B Casey McGehee (Marlins): McGehee has recorded multi-hit games in three of his past four, including four singles on Wednesday. After his go-ahead RBI single in the 10th inning, he leads the majors with the best average with runners in scoring position (.439).
CF B.J. Upton (Braves): While his younger brother is swinging a hot bat, B.J. is just 8-for-37 (.216) over the last 10 games with six runs, one homer and two RBI. After consecutive multi-hit games against the Colorado Rockies, he has just two doubles and a single in five contests.
LF Christian Yelich (Marlins): Although he collected a leadoff double and later a single for his first multi-hit game since May 21, Yelich’s average sits at .250. His baserunning error in the first cost Giancarlo Stanton an RBI. He has gone hitless in three of his past five games.
.222: Average with runners in scoring position for Atlanta during its four-game skid
12: At-bats without a hit for Freddie Freeman in the previous three-game set with the Marlins
.366: On-base percentage for the second batter in the Marlins lineup, which ranks fifth in the majors
23: Runs scored by the Marlins against the Braves during a three-game sweep earlier this month
"It wasn’t a perfect game by far. We made many mistakes, but we kept ourselves in it. We gave them a lot of opportunities, but they didn’t capitalize on them, either. At the end it came down to who got the big hits, and we were fortunate to put together a big string of at-bats." — Manager Mike Redmond, to reporters in Washington, about Wednesday night’s win
"This isn’t a prom king or a prom queen, your play should be what takes you there, not everything else." — Slugger Giancarlo Stanton, to reporters in Washington, when asked about being fourth in All-Star voting among National League outfielders
"Yes, I’ll be fine for the next start. Throughout the game, I told them I wasn’t feeling well. It was a little tight." — Right-hander Hendeson Alvarez, to reporters in Washington, about exiting the game after five innings with right elbow tightness
May 31 — Saturday Spectacular Summer Concert Series (B.o.B.); All You Can Eat Special; Fellowship Day (pregame); Youth Baseball & Softball Day
June 1 — Miami Marlins recycle tote bag courtesy of MLB Network; Family Sunday (Snapshot Sunday and Radio Disney pregame, Diamond Dash postgame); Pepsi 4-for-$54 Pack; Youth Baseball & Softball Day; Jewish Heritage Day; Spirit of ’45 Day