ATLANTA (CBSMiami/AP) – The Miami Marlins have been very consistent since the MLB All-Star break, but not in the way that fans of the team had hoped.READ MORE: Florida Poised To Revamp Civics Education
Despite continuing to pitch respectably, Shelby Miller hasn’t earned a win since his near no-hitter against the Marlins on May 17.
Miller will try to end his drought with another stellar performance against Miami and lead the Atlanta Braves to their first four-game sweep of the Marlins in nine years Sunday.
Since coming within one out of a no-hitter, Miller has gone 0-7 with a 3.14 ERA in 14 starts and received a combined 14 runs of support. He’s gotten none in seven games.
The Braves matched their best support in that winless stretch Tuesday with three runs in his seven innings against San Francisco. Miller (5-8, 2.44 ERA allowed two runs but the Braves bullpen gave up six in an 8-3 loss, dropping the team to 2-12 in his last 14 starts.
“My job is to go out there and put zeros up whether I go five innings, seven innings, whether I have good games, bad games,” Miller said.
Miller is the first to have a .385 winning percentage or lower and a sub-2.50 ERA in at least 20 starts since Joe Magrane went 5-9 (.357) with a 2.18 ERA in 24 starts for St. Louis in 1988.
Miller’s losing streak is the longest by a Braves pitcher since Kenshin Kawakami dropped 11 in a row from 2009-10. The last Atlanta starter to go 15-plus games without a win was Jo-Jo Reyes with an 18-game streak from 2008-09.READ MORE: Miami-Dade AT&T Call Center Evacuated After Bomb Threat
A matchup with Miami could end his streak as he’s 2-0 with a 0.47 ERA in three starts this season. The Marlins (43-68) have dropped 13 of 15, including six in a row, and 21 of 26 on the road.
The Braves are 10-2 against Miami this season and have won the last six following a 7-2 victory Saturday. Nick Swisher helped seal the victory with a two-run double in his Atlanta debut and first game since going on the disabled list for left knee inflammation June 14.
Nick Markakis went 3 for 5 to extend his NL-best hit streak to 15 games, and A.J. Pierzynski now has a 13-game streak after going 2 for 4.
The two will try to extend those runs while leading Atlanta to its first four-game sweep of the Marlins since May 15-18, 2006. The Braves dropped 18 of 24 before this series.
They’ll face Brad Hand (1-2, 4.71) in his second game since returning to the rotation. The left-hander pitched four scoreless innings Tuesday in a 5-1 loss to the New York Mets.
“I just come here every day with a positive attitude, and whatever they decide is totally up to them,” Hand told MLB’s official website. “I’ve just got to be ready to pitch.”
Hand, 1-1 with a 4.60 ERA in four starts this season, took a 4-0 win in his most recent start against Atlanta on Sept. 7, throwing six innings. He was 0-3 with a 6.06 ERA in his previous three starts versus the Braves.
Markakis and Pierzynski are hitless in a combined four at-bats against Hand, all this season.MORE NEWS: Florida School Quarantine Rule Could Be Extended
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