(AP) — Mike Minor’s inconsistency has left the Atlanta Braves wondering what they’re going to see from start to start.
It’s been pretty well known, though, that he hasn’t been at his best when facing the Miami Marlins recently.
Minor hopes that’s not the case Tuesday night as he looks to help Atlanta avoid a third loss in four games at Turner Field.
After setting career bests with 13 wins and a 3.21 ERA in 2013, Minor (3-5, 4.86 ERA) has had some solid performances with poor outings mixed in during his 14 starts this season.
Minor has pitched fewer than five innings three times and allowed at least five runs in four starts, but he’s also given up two runs or fewer seven times. He’s coming off his first winsince May 19, though that’s a bit deceiving considering he allowed six runs and 11 hits in six innings of the Braves’ 11-6 victory over the Chicago Cubs on July 12.
The left-hander, who homered in that contest, is 1-1 with a 6.86 ERA over his last seven outings.
“It was one of those days where I felt like I made some good pitches and they just got hits,” Minor said.
The Marlins have had some big hits in their recent meetings with Minor. He’s 1-2 with a 4.73 ERA in his last five starts in the series, and has allowed four homers over 13 innings in his last two.
Giancarlo Stanton is 5 for 19 off Minor, but four of those hits are homers and he’s also walked eight times. Stanton went 0 for 4 with an intentional walk in Monday’s series opener but scored on Garrett Jones’ two-run single in the 10th inning of Miami’s 3-1 victory.
“We can’t rely on the same guys every single night to get the win,” manager Mike Redmond said. “Giancarlo can’t hit a home run every single time to win the game.”
Jarrod Saltalamacchia homered in the fifth for the Marlins (46-52), who have won back-to-back games following a six-game losing streak. Miami hasn’t yet given up on trying to catch Atlanta and Washington, which leads the Braves by one game and the Marlins by 8 1/2 atop the NL East.
“It’s a huge series,” said Tom Koehler, who allowed one run in 6 2-3 innings Monday. “We’re running out of season. (The Braves) are ahead of us, so obviously coming in here we want to play them tough and win these games.”
Atlanta (54-45) scored 36 runs while winning four of its previous five, but its only run Monday came on Chris Johnson’s RBI groundout in the second. Johnson went 0 for 4 after hitting .450 with four homers during a five-game hitting streak.
The Braves look to get their offense back on track as they face Jacob Turner, who will be making his first start in nearly six weeks.
Turner (2-6, 6.22) went 2-4 with a 6.38 ERA in nine starts before being demoted to the bullpen after giving up five runs in four innings of a 6-0 loss to Texas on June 11. He also had a stint on the disabled list in April due to a strained right shoulder.
The right-hander made eight relief appearances, the most recent coming July 13 in a 9-1 loss to the New York Mets as he allowed two runs and four hits in three innings. Right-handers are hitting .350 against Turner, the worst mark for any NL pitcher.
Turner allowed five runs in five innings of a 9-5 loss to Atlanta on May 31, falling to 1-3 with a 4.40 ERA in five career starts against the Braves.
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