MIAMI (Gracenote) — Julio Teheran has struggled in three of his past four starts, and the Atlanta Braves desperately need their No. 1 starter to pitch well entering Saturday’s contest at the Miami Marlins.
Teheran sports an unsightly 8.02 ERA in his past four starts, part of the reason the Braves come into the middle contest of the three-game set having won just twice in their past 10 after snapping a six-game losing streak in the series opener.
One Atlanta player who is hot is left fielder Matt Kemp, who extended his hitting streak to 12 games in Friday’s 8-4 victory and is batting .358 during that stretch.
The banged-up Marlins lost for the seventh time in eight games and continue allowing runs at an alarming rate, giving up 54 runs in that span. Left fielder Marcell Ozuna, who entered Friday third in the National League in home batting average (.396), went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in the opener.
Center fielder Christian Yelich continues to wear out Atlanta pitching, going 2-for-5 Friday to raise his career average against the Braves to .316.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN South (Atlanta), FSN Florida (Miami)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Braves RH Julio Teheran (2-3, 4.69 ERA) vs. Marlins RH Edinson Volquez (0-4, 4.71)
Teheran has struggled with his control during his tailspin, issuing 12 walks against 15 strikeouts with five homers allowed in 21 1/3 innings. He gave up four runs on nine hits over five innings in a May 6 loss to St. Louis – five days after surrendering six runs on six hits in six innings of a loss to the New York Mets. Teheran, against whom left-handed batters are hitting .284 with five homers and 18 walks in 81 at-bats, is 5-4 in 15 career starts against the Marlins with a 3.46 ERA.
Volquez is expected to come off the disabled list after missing his last start with a right thumb blister. He continues to search for his first victory in a Miami uniform, and since throwing five shutout innings against Washington on April 3 the Dominican Republic native has allowed three earned runs or more three times. The 33-year-old, who gave up three runs on three hits over 4 1/3 innings in his last start against Tampa Bay on May 2, is 4-3 with a 2.89 ERA in eight career appearances against Atlanta.
1. Miami 1B Justin Bour hit his 45th career homer Friday and ninth against the Braves.
2. Atlanta C Tyler Flowers matched his career high with four RBIs Friday, and is hitting .419 with nine RBIs in his past 10 games.
3. Braves RF Nick Markakis went 2-for-4 with a walk Friday, and has reached base in 28 of his past 31 games.
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