ATLANTA (CBSMiami) – The Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves may languish in the bottom third in the majors in a number of offensive categories, but the National League East rivals ignited a powder keg in the series opener. After combining for 19 runs and 34 hits in an offensive slugfest, the Marlins and Braves will see if they have anything left in the tank on Tuesday, when the clubs continue their three-game set at Turner Field.
Freddie Freeman recorded an RBI single to highlight his 3-for-4 performance and extend his hitting streak to 18 games in Monday’s 12-7 victory over Miami. The 26-year-old has reached base in a career-best 34 consecutive contests and hit safely in 29 of his last 30, batting a blistering .376 in that span.
While cellar-dwelling Atlanta recorded double-digit scoring for just the third time this year to win its eighth contest in its last 13, the Marlins have dropped 12 of 16 and reside five games behind the New York Mets for the second NL wild-card spot.
Former Brave Martin Prado has recorded back-to-back multi-hit performances and is 3-for-6 with four RBIs versus Tuesday starter Matt Wisler.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins Jake Esch (0-1, 4.82 ERA) vs. Braves Matt Wisler (6-11, 4.76)
Esch, who will face his third straight NL East opponent, hasn’t taken the ball and run with it since replacing David Phelps in the rotation. The 26-year-old allowed a homer for the second straight outing and yielded three runs in five innings of a 6-2 setback to Philadelphia on Monday. Esch managed to strike out six Phillies and fanned 96 in 142 frames spanning Double- and Triple-A this season.
Wisler returns to the mound after sustaining an oblique injury during his career-best 10-strikeout performance on Aug. 31. The 24-year-old struggled in his last encounter with Miami, permitting three runs and a season-high 10 hits in six innings of a 5-2 setback on July 3. That contest was at home, where Wisler owns a 2-7 record while surrendering 42 runs and 83 hits in 79 2/3 frames.
1. Miami OF Christian Yelich has recorded multi-hit performances in three of his last four games and an RBI in four of his last five.
2. Atlanta LF Matt Kemp is 18-for-49 with four homers, 11 RBIs and 10 runs scored in September.
3. Braves RF Nick Markakis has collected two homers, six RBIs and five runs scored during his five-game hitting streak.
PREDICTION: Marlins 6, Braves 4
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