After four straight losses -- including three in Philadelphia where they scored a total of eight runs -- the Braves were in dire need of a breakout offensively.
The got it, scoring five runs in the fourth inning as they backed Kris Medlen's gem to blank the Marlins 5-2 Monday to cut the magic number to eight.
Here are three observations from Atlanta's victory.
1. It's not his historic run, but Medlen is quietly dominating
By the end of May, Kris Medlen was 1-6 and hadn't won a game since April 9. He had a 3.48 ERA and a 48-to-24 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Not bad, but certainly not the stuff of the next great Braves pitcher, which many saw in the tea leaves after 12 starts with a 0.97 ERA to end 2012.
But of late, the Medlen of old -- or at least one resembling the massive expectations placed on him this offseason -- has returned and at the perfect time with the postseason just weeks away.
Through six shutout innings Medlen didn't give up a hit to anyone not named Chris Coughlan...