Found September 17, 2012 on Fox Sports Florida:
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. They are also eight ahead of the Cardinals' closest challenger, Los Angeles. Atlanta would seem to have a good chance of moving closer to a playoff berth, considering it's 9-3 against the Marlins this season, and has won five of six in Miami. Hudson (14-6, 3.66 ERA) threw a five-hitter at Marlins Park on June 5, and has a 1.78 ERA in winning his last four starts in the series. The right-hander might also be due for a strong performance since he's alternated stellar and shaky outings in his last eight starts, and is coming off a subpar showing. Since the start of August, Hudson has a 0.33 ERA in his four wins, but is 0-2 with a 7.77 ERA in his other four games. In Milwaukee on Tuesday, he gave up four runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 5-0 loss. The Braves combined for three runs in being swept by the Brewers, but they appear to be getting their offense back on track, having plated five in each of their last two contests. Jason Heyward finished the series against the Nationals with a homer and three RBIs, and is likely eager to face Miami pitching. He is hitting .340 with four homers and 10 RBIs against the Marlins this year, and is 4 for 7 with a homer and double lifetime against probable starter Wade LeBlanc (2-4, 2.95). LeBlanc came out of the bullpen to make his first start of the season in Atlanta on Aug. 1, and gave up a run in 4 1-3 innings. He has gone five innings or fewer in four of his seven starts, including last Monday, when he allowed three runs and four hits in five innings of a 3-1 loss at Philadelphia. The Marlins used a franchise-record nine pitchers in Sunday's 5-4, 11-inning loss to Cincinnati, their fourth defeat in six games. Miami appeared to have a walkoff win when John Buck hit a ball to deep center field with one on and two out in the 11th, but Drew Stubbs leaped to make the game-ending catch just in front of the 418-foot wall. Jose Reyes finished that series 8 for 13 with two doubles after going hitless in 14 at-bats in his previous four games, and he might be just warming up. He is batting .406 with two home runs in his last eight games against Atlanta, and is 6 for 17 (.353) with a homer and two doubles against Hudson since the start of last season.

LeBlanc, Marlins lose opener with Braves

MIAMI (AP) -- Dan Uggla hit a three-run home run in the first inning, Martin Prado tied a career best with four hits and the Atlanta Braves beat the Miami Marlins 7-5 on Monday night. Tim Hudson (15-6) allowed a season-high 10 hits in five innings, still beating the Marlins for the fifth straight time. Atlanta -- which swept a three-game series from Washington over the weekend ...

Suzanna’s pictures from Friday’s game

A friend and I both had a free weekend last week, so we drove to Atlanta together for the game on the 14th.  It had been a few years since either of us had been able to go to a game, and since this is Chipper’s last year we had extra incentive to get to a game before the end of the season.  We got to Turner Field before 4:30 and, after a bit, found the only gate that was open...

Fans honor Chipper Jones with corn maze

Fox Sports South has brought us this tribute for retiring Atlanta Braves legend Chipper Jones...his likeness cut into a corn maze. The corn maze was created by Braves fans Misty and Lamar Duren of Walnut Grove, Georgia. Creating corn mazes is nothing new for them, and last year, they made a maze to honor Atlanta company Coca-Cola, celebrating its 125th anniversary. This is pretty...

Is Erasmo Ramirez the Next Kris Medlen?

The current talk of the National League is a reliever turned starter with a small body type dominating the league with three solid pitches and, specifically, a killer changeup. Kris Medlen’s season has been one of the more interesting storylines this year, which has to do with both his impressive performance as a starter and the fact that he has done so for a contending team. In...

For the Miami Marlins to improve on the diamond, manager Ozzie Guillén must be booted from ‘The Gateway to the Americas’

Controversial Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillén has chapped the asses of the team’s suits and speculation is mounting that the obnoxious blowhard will be terminated shortly after the season concludes on October 3. The 48-year-old Guillén, who was suspended five … Continue reading →

Lee homers as Buehrle, Marlins beat Reds

MIAMI (AP) -- Carlos Lee homered and drove in three runs and the Miami Marlins beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-4 on Saturday night. Mark Buehrle (13-12) allowed four runs on seven hits over 7 2-3 innings to improve to 4-1 in his last six starts. Jose Reyes had three hits and also drove in a run for Miami. Johnny Cueto (17-9) suffered his third straight loss and failed to last five innings...

Minor, Braves complete sweep of Nats

ATLANTA (AP) -- The Atlanta Braves gave themselves a glimmer of hope in the NL East. Hey, after what happened to these guys a year ago, they're not giving up on chasing down the first-place Washington Nationals. Mike Minor threw six strong innings, Dan Uggla broke it open with a two-run single and the Braves denied Gio Gonzalez his 20th win, completing a sweep of Washington...

Marlins go for a sweep of Cincy in series finale

While the Cincinnati Reds are still comfortably cruising toward the NL Central title and the Miami Marlins occupy the East cellar, the teams have undergone a bit of a role reversal this weekend. The Marlins will send streaking Ricky Nolasco to the hill Sunday as they bid for their first sweep of the visiting Reds in nearly a decade. Holding a double-digit lead with 16 games to...

Stanton out with soreness in side strain

MIAMI (AP) -- Miami right fielder Giancarlo Stanton was not in the Marlins' starting lineup against the Atlanta Braves on Monday, getting a day to rest what he and the team described as a strained muscle in his side. Stanton pointed to his right side when describing the injury and Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen described it as an oblique strain, though the team's official...

Marlins' Guillen is not concerned about his job security

The Miami Marlins are having a disappointing season, but manager Ozzie Guillen expects to return next year despite speculation that his job could be on the line. Guillen said the thought does not "go through my mind, 'Wow, I might get fired?' No. Sometimes you say, 'Wow, I wish I got fired because I can go home and relax and not deal with this anymore.' But...

Klements, Brewers, give retirement gift to Chipper Jones

Its better than a gold watch...right? Chipper Jones is in the midst of his final illustrious Major League Baseball career. As he and the Braves make their last appearance in various cities, the fans and the opposing teams are recognizing Chipper's play and his decorated career. He received a Green Monster plaque from the Red Sox. A surfboard from the Padres. one...

Uggla homers, Braves beat Marlins

MIAMI (AP) -- Dan Uggla hit a three-run home run in the first inning, Martin Prado tied a career best with four hits and the Atlanta Braves beat the Miami Marlins 7-5 on Monday night. Tim Hudson (15-6) allowed a season-high 10 hits in five innings, still beating the Marlins for the fifth straight time. Atlanta -- which swept a three-game series from Washington over the weekend ...

Gio Gonzalez tips his cap to Chipper Jones

On his way off the field in the sixth after missing out on his 20th win of the season, Gio Gonzalez tipped his cap and gave a thumbs up to Chipper Jones (who was on third thanks to a walk and then a Freddie Freeman double). (Screen cap via ESPN/TV) Befriend Nats Enquirer on Facebook. Follow on Twitter.

Atlanta Braves: The week ahead

Schedule Monday: Atlanta at Miami, 7:10 p.m. (SportSouth); Tim Hudson (14-6, 3.66 ERA) vs. Wade LeBlanc (2-4, 2.95) Tuesday: Atlanta at Miami, 7:10 p.m. (SportSouth); Paul Maholm (12-8, 3.90) vs. Nate Eovaldi (4-12, 4.71) Wednesday: Atlanta at Miami, 7:10 p.m. (SportSouth); Kris Medlen (8-1, 1.62) vs. Josh Johnson (8-12, 3.81) Friday: Atlanta at Philadelphia, 7:05 p.m. (Peachtree...
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