Marlins-Braves Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated May 17, 2012
After struggling mightily in April, Miami's offense is clicking and the Marlins are piling up wins. Their suddenly potent lineup will be put to the test in Thursday night's two-game series finale against the Atlanta Braves, who will give the ball to major league ERA leader Brandon Beachy. With Wednesday's 8-4 victory over the Braves, Miami (20-7) improved to 12-3 in May and moved three games above .500 for the first time. Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run homer while Austin Kearns and Emilio Bonifacio also drove in two runs apiece for the Marlins, who are 9-1 on the road this month. Miami's offense has keyed the turnaround in May, averaging 4.7 runs and batting .255. Miami scored 3.3 runs per game and batted .228 in April. "The difference this month is we get big hits because we're pitching the same,'' manager Ozzie Guillen said. The Marlins made quick work of Atlanta starter Mike Minor on Wednesday, knocking him around for six runs in 4 2-3 innings. The beating wasn't surprising considering Minor's 7.09 ERA is the highest among NL qualifiers. Generating offense figures to be much more difficult against Beachy (4-1, 1.60 ERA), who has yielded two runs or fewer in each of his last six starts. Beachy is limiting opponents to a .181 batting average on the season and has served up just one homer in 45 innings, but he has had some recent control trouble. The right-hander walked four in six innings in St. Louis on Saturday after issuing three free passes in 6 1-3 innings against Colorado on May 6. Despite the command issues, Beachy limited the Cardinals to one run and two hits in a 7-2 Braves victory. Beachy went 1-0 in four inconsistent starts against the Marlins last season, posting a 1.29 ERA in two of them but a 7.59 ERA in the other two. Stanton, who is 3 for 8 with two doubles lifetime against Beachy, hit his team-leading eighth homer Wednesday and possibly saved two runs with a sensational diving catch to end the fourth inning with runners on second and third. With the Braves (23-15) in the middle of a stretch of 33 games in 34 days, manager Fredi Gonzalez shuffled his lineup Wednesday, resting Chipper Jones and giving Michael Bourn - the NL hits leader with 55 - his first day off this season. Both are expected to back Thursday to face Miami starter Ricky Nolasco (4-1, 3.65), who is hoping to bounce back from a subpar showing. Nolasco was tagged for season highs of six runs and nine hits in a season-low 4 2-3 innings in Saturday's 9-3 home defeat to the New York Mets. The right-hander had been 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA in his previous three outings - all on the road. Nolasco has had some problems pitching at Turner Field lately, going 1-2 with a 6.97 ERA in his last four starts there. He was 1-1 with a 4.41 ERA in five overall starts versus the Braves last season. Several Atlanta hitters have given Nolasco trouble. Jones is batting .357 with nine extra-base hits in 42 career at-bats, Brian McCann is hitting .340 with six homers in 47 at-bats, and Jason Heyward and Dan Uggla are each 5 for 13.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

LeBron James and Kyrie Irving ate the Celtics’ heart during the second half of Game 4

NFL to reportedly bring back fun touchdown celebrations

Mike Trout explains why he doesn’t look at advanced stats

Reds’ Joey Votto shuts down heckler with “I remember when you used to be thin”

Rob Gronkowski gets new contract, chance to double salary

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Padres offering $99 ticket plan for five June wins or 16 June games – whatever happens first

Former Jets WR Devin Smith found out he was cut via Twitter

Roger Goodell tweets ‘Key & Peele’ joke about relaxed celebration rules

Martavis Bryant: ‘I know this is my last chance’

Glennon: ‘This is my year and I’m not worried about the future’

Durant apologizes for response to fans complaining about blowouts

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker