MIAMI (AP) — With their longest winning streak in over 13 years now in the past, the Atlanta Braves hope Mike Minor can help them lay the groundwork for another potential run of success.
Minor looks for a third consecutive win Sunday while trying to prevent the visiting Miami Marlins from building on their first victory in a week when they beat the Braves 1-0.
Atlanta (71-46) averaged 5.9 runs and 10.4 hits during its 14-game winning streak, but was held to three singles by four Miami pitchers during Saturday’s loss. The Braves fell one victory shy of tying the 2000 team for the franchise’s longest winning streak since the 1891 Boston Beaneaters won 18 in a row.
“Yeah, man, we had a good run,” said catcher Evan Gattis, who was unable to stop a wild pitch in the ninth inning that produced the game’s only run. “I hate that it ended.”
The defeat also snapped an eight-game home run for the Braves, who lead the NL East by 14 1/2 games.
Adeiny Hechavarria tripled to lead off the ninth then scored on the wild pitch to help the Marlins (44-71) snap a six-game slide.
“They’re a great team,” said Miami’s Nathan Eovaldi, who yielded one hit and struck out eight in seven innings. “It was just a great win all around.”
Miami has totaled 13 runs in seven games since a 10-0 rout of Cleveland on Aug. 2.
The Marlins’ struggles at the plate could continue against Minor (11-5, 2.76 ERA), who is 3-1 with a 1.74 ERA in his last six starts. He’s allowed three runs over 20 innings while going 2-0 in the last three.
The left-hander was not satisfied even after he gave up two of those runs along with eight hits and three walks over six innings of Monday’s 3-2 win at Washington.
“I know it very easily could have been five or six runs,” Minor told the Braves’ official website. “So I’m thankful for only two runs.”
He’s 1-1 with a 2.50 ERA in three starts versus Miami this season.
With a single Saturday, Atlanta All-Star Freddie Freeman is batting .364 (12 for 33) while hitting in nine straight against the Marlins.
Giancarlo Stanton could be in the lineup Sunday for Miami after the struggling slugger was given the night off. He’s 4 for 37 with two RBIs and 15 strikeouts in his last 10 games.
“It seems that he is really grinding,” manager Mike Redmond told the Braves’ official website. “Sometimes just a day to sit and relax and not really think about your swing will help guys. Hopefully that’s the case with him.”
Stanton’s two hits in 12 at-bats against Minor both left the park.
Scheduled Miami starter Henderson Alvarez (2-1, 2.80) has allowed seven runs over 34 innings while going 2-0 in his last five starts. He’s yielded five of those runs over the last two, including three in seven innings of a 4-3 loss at Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
The right-hander is 0-1 with a 5.73 ERA in two starts versus the Braves this season.
Atlanta’s Brian McCann, 2 for 4 with a double against Alvarez, could return after resting his sore knee Saturday.
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