MIAMI (CBSMiami/SportsDirect) – The last time the Atlanta Braves concluded a series in Miami, Shelby Miller came within one out of no-hitting the Marlins and won his fifth game of the season.
Miller is back on the mound in Miami on Sunday for the first time since that outstanding performance to face the Marlins while still seeking his sixth victory, which would put an end to a quirky streak of bad luck, minimal run support and no wins that has lasted more than four months.
Miller is 0-15 with a 3.65 ERA during the 23 starts since Justin Bour broke up his no-hitter with two outs in the ninth inning on May 17, a two-hit shutout that boosted Miller’s record to 5-1.
Since then, Miller has allowed two earned runs or fewer while pitching at least six innings 11 times, but the Braves have been unable to break through as the team spiraled from .500 in early July to a 90-loss season.
Miami extended its winning streak to four with Saturday’s 6-2 victory and improved to a National League-best 16-8 since Aug. 31.
Shortstop Miguel Rojas is 7-for-16 on the homestand with three runs scored, a homer and four RBIs in five games.
TV: 1:10 p.m. ET, FSN South (Atlanta), FSN Florida (Miami)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Braves RH Shelby Miller (5-16, 3.00 ERA) vs. Marlins RH Tom Koehler (10-14, 3.94)
Miller has put together a great first season with the Braves despite the winless streak, but has struggled in September.
He has lost all four of his outings this month, posting a 6.75 ERA while giving up five runs or more twice.
Miller, who gave up only two runs on seven hits in six innings in a loss Monday to the New York Mets, is 2-2 with a 1.16 ERA in five starts against Miami in 2015.
Koehler lost to the Phillies on Tuesday, giving up four runs (three earned) on seven hits in five innings.
That outing snapped a two-start winning streak for Koehler, who struck out 10 in eight innings to beat Milwaukee on Sept. 9 and gave up one run in six innings on Sept. 15 to down the Mets.
Koehler is 1-2 in four appearances (three starts) against Atlanta this season, holding the Braves to three runs or fewer in each outing.
- Bour has homered in each of the first two games of the series and, with 21 homers, he is the first Miami rookie to hit 20-plus blasts since Giancarlo Stanton in 2010.
- Atlanta C Ryan Lavarnway started Saturday for the first time since Aug. 23, due to injuries to A.J. Pierzynski (shoulder) and Christian Bethancourt (thumb).
- The Marlins are batting .294 in their past 25 games, tops in the majors.