Locke Takes The Hill Vs. Braves

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CUMBERLAND, Ga. (Gracenote) — Justin Bour returned from the disabled list just in time to face the Atlanta Braves, who the Miami Marlins first baseman continues to punish entering Saturday’s middle contest of a three-game weekend series in Atlanta.

Bour – who missed eight games with an ankle contusion – came off the disabled list and belted his 17th homer of the season in Friday’s series-opening 5-0 victory, raising his career numbers against the Braves to .306 with 11 homers and 27 RBIs in 35 games.

Bour is not the only Miami hitter who historically tees off on Atlanta pitching: center fielder Christian Yelich went 3-for-5 with three RBIs in the opener and is hitting .322 in 69 career games versus the Braves.

Atlanta had scored 29 runs in its previous three games and entered the series averaging 5.6 runs per game in June, but mustered just four hits in the series opener.

First baseman Matt Adams has eight homers and 21 RBIs since May 21 while filling in for the injured Freddie Freeman.

The Braves are 5-25 when scoring three runs or less; when they score four runs or more, they are 24-12.

TV: 4:10 p.m. ET, FSN Florida (Miami), FSN South (Atlanta)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins LH Jeff Locke (0-2, 4.02 ERA) vs. Braves LH Jaime Garcia (2-5, 3.16)

Locke makes his fourth start of the season after bicep tendinitis sidelined him for the first part of the season. After striking out seven while allowing just one run in his debut June 1 against Arizona, Locke has surrendered three earned runs in each of his past two outings, losing to the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates. The 29-year-old, who went 1-0 with a 1.77 ERA in four minor-league rehab starts, is 2-3 in eight career starts against the Braves with a 5.44 ERA.

A free agent at season’s end, Garcia’s trade potential continues to rise with each passing start despite losing four of his past five decisions. The 30-year-old gave up two runs on seven hits with nine strikeouts in a 2-1 loss to the Mets on Sunday, and he has posted a 1.49 ERA with 28 strikeouts and seven walks in his past five starts. Garcia faced Miami in his second start of the season, allowing three earned runs in five innings of a no-decision April 12.

WALK-OFFS

1. Atlanta 2B Brandon Phillips went hitless in four at-bats Friday, just the sixth time in 31 home games he has not collected at least one base hit.

2. The Braves hope LF Matt Kemp, who left Wednesday’s game with left hamstring tightness and did not play Friday, can return to the lineup Saturday.

3. Miami 3B Martin Prado (right hamstring) and SS Adeiny Hechavarria (left oblique) are expected to begin rehab assignments with Double-A Jacksonville this weekend.

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