The Miami Marlins were unable to pull off a series split against the Braves on Thursday as they fell 6-1 in Atlanta. The Marlins struggles continued as news surfaced that Carlos Lee had been put on the waiver wire. The Braves jumped all over starter Nate Eovaldi, scoring all six runs in the first two innings. Freddie Freeman and Chipper Jones delivered the big blows with two-run doubles in each inning. Jason Heyward and Dan Uggla knocked in the a run apiece on singles. Somewhat surprisingly, Chad Gaudin came on after Eovaldi's night ended after just two innings and a delay, and the reliever pitched four scoreless.
But the solid work from the Miami bullpen didn't matter as the offense could not break through against a platoon of Braves hurlers. Carlos Lee drove in the only run of the night on a sacrifice fly in the sixth. Miami now heads to Washington for a weekend series with the first-place Nationals. The series gets underway with a doubleheader on Friday.
At 13.5 games behind the Washington Nationals for the NL East lead, the postseason hopes for the Miami Marlins are certainly slim. But that's not the case for the Atlanta Braves, as they are just 2.5 games behind the Nationals and looking to continue to cut into that margin.
However, the Marlins slowed that hunt for the Braves with a victory on Wednesday night and can continue to throw a wrench in the plans of the Braves in an attempt to even the four-game series between the two with back to back victories.
Pitching for the Marlins will be Nate Eovaldi who has struggled in 2012 and was unable to earn his first victory until July. However, Eovaldi is 2-1 in his last four starts including a 5.1 inning performance against the Padres in which he allowed just one run.
Eovaldi will have to best Mike Minor for his third win of the season, who is coming off a victory of his own. In his last start on Saturday, Minor earned the victory after allowing just one run in eight innings against the Phillies.
The first pitch at Turner Field on Thursday is scheduled to be thrown at 7:10 p.m. and will be televised on Fox Sports Florida and SportSouth-Atlanta.
The Miami Marlins were looking to stop a two game skid against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday evening, after dropping the first two games of the series in decisive fashion. The Marlins got off to a quick start, picking up three runs in the top of the first inning, getting started by a Carlos Lee RBI single.
The Braves quickly answered in the second inning, bringing the score to 3-1 on a Paul Janish double. Pitcher Wade LeBlanch for the Marlins helped his own cause, doubling in the fifth inning to plate another run and push the Miami lead to 4-1.
The Braves picked up another run on a Dan Uggla double late, but the bullpen of the Marlins was able to hold down the Braves bats on the way to a 4-2 win.
The Miami Marlins will try again to beat the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday after losing the first two games of the series. Winning will be a tall order for a lineup that has scored just three runs in its last two games against a rejuvenated Ben Sheets.
After picking up Sheets as an afterthought on July 1, he is looking for his fourth straight win. In three starts with Atlanta, Sheets has allowed just one run and has a minuscule ERA of 0.50 in 18 innings of work. All of his starts so far have come against NL East opponents.
Miami counters with Wade LeBlanc, making his first start since being tabbed to replace Carlos Zambrano in the rotation. LeBlanc has made 11 relief appearances this season with a 1.15 ERA, but started 52 times over his last four years in San Diego.
The game is scheduled to start at 7:10 p.m. at Turner Field in Atlanta. Fans can watch it on Fox Sports Florida.
The Miami Marlins dropped the opening game of their four-game series against the Braves on Monday night as Mark Buerhle was hammered in less than five innings of work. The Braves jumped all over Buerhle in the fifth, putting a four-spot on the board and chasing him from the game. A Dan Uggla double scored both Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman, ending Buerhle's evening with just one man down in the fifth. Carlos Zambrano came on in relief and gave up a two-run pinch hit single to Juan Francisco. Both runs were credited to Buerhle and the game was blown open at 6-1.
The Marlins offense, on the other hand, could not convert against Atlanta stater Tommy Hanson. The Fish managed three walks and six hits off Hanson, but could only plate one run -- a Jose Reyes double that scored Emilio Bonifacio. The offense added another run in garbage time but it was far too little to overcome the seven-run deficit they were saddled with after the poor pitching performance.
The Miami Marlins open a four-game series against the Atlanta Braves on Monday night, hoping to carry a little momentum from their Sunday win in extra innings over the Padres. Atlanta presents a tougher opponent than the last one, and the Marlins will still be without Giancarlo Stanton who is rehabbing his knee.
This is the first game on an 11-game road trip for the Marlins.
Miami's lineup for Monday's game looks like this:
#Marlins lineup vs. Braves: Bonifacio 2B, Murphy 3B, Reyes SS, Lee 1B, Ruggiano CF, Petersen LF, Hayes C, Cousins RF, Buehrle P