Marlins-Braves Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated July 29, 2012
Atlanta Braves right-hander Tommy Hanson had very little control last week against the Miami Marlins, but it all worked out. It didn't for the uncharacteristically wild Mark Buehrle in his recent outing versus Atlanta. Hanson will try to lead the Braves to a sixth consecutive victory Monday night and help them continue their mastery of the Marlins as he squares off against Buehrle in the opener of this four-game set. Facing Miami for the first time in 2012, Hanson (11-5, 4.39 ERA) walked a career-high seven and allowed seven stolen bases in Wednesday's 7-1 road win. He became the first pitcher since Seattle's Randy Johnson on July 29, 1989, to win despite walking at least seven and giving up seven or more steals. "I have no idea how I did that,'' Hanson said after the Braves won for the ninth time in his last 10 starts. "... The good part is that we won and, hopefully, I can do a better job next time.'' While Hanson improved to 8-2 with a 3.78 ERA on the road, he's 3-3 with a 5.19 ERA at Turner Field. Hanson, the team leader in strikeouts with 110, will try to set a career high in victories after the Braves (57-44) completed a three-game sweep of Philadelphia with Sunday's 6-2 win. Atlanta is four back of NL East-leading Washington but 2 1/2 up on Los Angeles for the second wild-card spot. "(The Phillies have) been winning the division for a long time and they've handled us pretty well. Now we've got to get over that hump of beating the Nationals," said Chipper Jones, whose 10th homer moved him past Pete Rose for the second-most (1,042) extra-base hits all-time among switch-hitters. The Braves, who won seven straight earlier in July, are in search of their first five-game surge at home since July 4-15, 2011. Miami (47-54), meanwhile, is going for its first road win in six tries as it opens a stretch of 22 of 28 away from home. The Marlins arrive in Atlanta after winning their second straight Sunday, 5-4 in 10 innings over San Diego on Justin Ruggiano's walkoff RBI single. Buehrle (9-9, 3.31) will try to give Miami its first three-game winning streak since July 4-6 after a start in which he had rare control issues. The left-hander walked a season-high four in five innings of Tuesday's 4-3 loss to Atlanta. Buehrle is among the majors' 10 best with 1.58 walks per nine inning. "Walking four guys, obviously that's not me,'' said Buehrle, one win shy of reaching double digits for the 12th consecutive season. "... Just one of those days where I didn't have stuff.'' Buehrle will make his second career start in Atlanta after giving up four runs over six innings in an 8-4 win May 16. Marlins shortstop Jose Reyes, 6 for 15 with three doubles off Hanson, will try to extend the majors' longest current hitting streak to 17. Reyes was 5 for 11 with a homer last week against the Braves. Atlanta, which has outscored Miami 44-17 in winning six of eight this season, has won 17 of 23 overall in this series.
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