ATLANTA (AP) — The Miami Marlins haven’t had much success in Atlanta over the past five seasons, but clinching a four-game series with one to play would be a step in the right direction.
The Marlins can secure just their third series victory at Turner Field since 2010 with a victory over the Braves on Wednesday night.
Miami (47-52) is 2-10-1 in series at Atlanta since the start of that season, resulting in a 15-26 record. The Marlins haven’t won three straight there since a streak of four victories that began with a three-game sweep in April 2009.
The Marlins, winners of three straight overall, secured at least a split of this set with Tuesday’s 6-5 victory, and the six-run effort was just their second of more than three runs in the last 11 contests.
“These games are important for us,” Tuesday’s starter Jacob Turner told MLB’s official website. “Coming up to the end of the month here, it’s crucial that we win these.”
Christian Yelich went 2 for 4 and is batting .365 over 15 games, while Giancarlo Stanton also enjoyed a two-hit night after a 4-for-33 slump through his previous 10.
With Nathan Eovaldi taking the mound, Miami may need to replicate its 12-hit effort.
Eovaldi (5-5, 4.08 ERA) is winless in his last four starts with two losses and a 6.38 ERA. He’s also coming off his worst start of the season after allowing eight runs, nine hits and a pair of home runs in four innings of Friday’s 9-1 loss to San Francisco.
Manager Mike Redmond isn’t discussing it like an isolated incident.
“They’ve been able to hit his fastball and take advantage of any mistake he seems to make over the course of a game,” Redmond said. “I don’t know if they’ve got something on him or what. But they’ve been able to do quite a bit of damage to him.”
His season against Atlanta has been considerably better with a 1-0 record and 1.29 ERA in three starts. In nine careerassignments against the Braves, the right-hander is 2-1 with a 1.86 ERA and .202 opponent batting average.
Freddie Freeman (3 for 23), Justin Upton (3 for 16), B.J. Upton (1 for 11), Chris Johnson (0 for 9) and Evan Gattis (0 for 8) have all struggled against Eovaldi, while Jason Heyward is 10 for 22.
Heyward went 2 for 4 with three RBIs to lead Tuesday’s eighth-inning rally that came up a run short. Andrelton Simmons went 0 for 4 and is in a 2-for-21 slump, while Freeman’s 0-for-3 night extended his struggles against the Marlins this season to 2 for 44.
The Braves (54-46), two games back of streaking Washington in the NL East, have lost three of four with a .198 average in that time.
“I feel like all of their pitchers in these first two games have thrown pretty well,” Heyward said. “I don’t think we had too many opportunities. But sometimes, you’ve got to take advantage of the ones you’ve got. Sometimes, it’s not going to happen.”
The Braves turn to Ervin Santana to better the Marlins’ effort. After struggling for much of May and June, Santana (8-6, 4.03) has been more consistent in his last four starts with a 3-1 record and 3.67 ERA. The right-hander surrendered four runs – three earned – and six hits in six innings of Friday’s 6-4 win over Philadelphia.
Santana is 1-2 with a 5.61 ERA in five career starts against the Marlins, though Casey McGehee is 1 for 8 and Stanton 1 for 7 against him.
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