By sweeping a series from the NL East leaders, the Atlanta Braves have managed to stay in the conversation for the division crown.
A far more realistic way to make the playoffs is securing the NL's first wild card, and a series with the last-place Miami Marlins should help with that endeavor, especially with Tim Hudson set to pitch.
Hudson looks to win his fifth straight start over the Marlins, while the surging Braves hope to carry an encouraging showing from over the weekend into Monday night's opener.
Atlanta (84-63) arrives in Miami after taking three straight from first-place Washington to pull within 5 12 games of the Nationals with 15 to play.
"There's still a lot of baseball left," manager Fredi Gonzalez said after Sunday's 5-1 win. "Who knows what could happen? We've just got to keep playing and keep winning ballgames."
While winning their first division title since 2005 seems unlikely, the Braves own a seven-game advantage over St. Louis for the NL's first wild card. ...