(AP) — Outstanding pitching is a big reason why the Atlanta Braves have had little trouble with the Miami Marlins of late.
Mike Minor looks to keep that trend going as he attempts to win a fifth straight decision for the second time this season Saturday night.
Atlanta (81-52) has won 13 of the last 17 meetings with Miami behind a 1.83 ERA – 2.06 from the rotation.
The Braves continued that dominance Friday, opening this three-game set with a 2-1 win as Julio Teheran outpitched fellow star rookie Jose Fernandez.
Atlanta now turns to Minor (13-5, 2.99 ERA), the team leader in wins and owner of the lowest ERA among the club’s starters. The left-hander, though, is 3-3 with a 4.30 ERA in 11 starts against Miami.
Minor beat the Marlins (49-84) for the first time in five tries at home Aug. 11, allowing four runs in seven innings of a 9-4 victory. He had been 0-2 with a 4.95 ERA in his first four matchups there.
His latest meeting with Miami is part of a six-start stretch during which he’s gone 4-0 with a 3.03 ERA. He last won five decisions in a row May 8-June 9.
Minor kept his current run going by yielding one run in seven innings of a 5-2 win at St. Louis on Sunday, helping the Braves end a three-game slide.
“He’s developing into a big-time deal,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “The (Adam) Wainwrights of the world, the (Clayton) Kershaws of the world, they stop losing streaks and extend winning streaks.”
Minor is looking to extend the Braves’ winning streak to six, and production from Freddie Freeman would surely help.
The All-Star first baseman hit a two-run homer and doubled Friday after being held out of the lineup for one game due to a nagging knee injury.
Freeman is a career .376 hitter against the Marlins at home and is batting .462 with 14 RBIs and 13 runs over the past 14 matchups there. He’s homered in each of the last two meetings at Turner Field, driving in five runs.
Miami lost for the ninth time in 10 games Friday, hitting .185 and scoring 18 runs over that stretch.
The Marlins’ offensive woes are partly why Jacob Turner (3-5, 3.12) is trying to avoid becoming the first pitcher to go winless in his first 13 road starts since Houston’s Jordan Lyles went 17 from May 31, 2011-Aug. 1, 2012.
Turner is 0-7 with a 3.57 ERA in 12 road games but has been backed by six total runs in eight starts this year.
Run support has been the least of Turner’s worries in two career outings at Turner Field, losing both while surrendering nine runs in 11 innings. He dropped the most recent Aug. 9, when he allowed five runs and three homers with three walks in five innings of a 5-0 defeat.
Turner hasn’t won at any venue since beating the Braves on July 10, allowing two runs in seven innings of the 6-2 victory. He’s 0-4 with a 4.09 ERA in eight starts since, getting charged with a 4-3 loss at home to Colorado on Sunday.
Turner was reached for four runs in 5 2-3 innings as he failed to complete six innings for a fourth straight start.
He’s allowed Freeman to go 3 for 8 (.375) with a double off him.
Marlins outfielder Justin Ruggiano went 0 for 4 on Friday after hitting .438 with three homers and eight RBIs over his previous 10 games. He’s 5 for 14 (.357) with a homer and two doubles off Minor.
Giancarlo Stanton has homered on both of his hits in 14 at-bats against Minor.
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)