Marlins turn to Buehrle hoping to avoid sweep vs. Braves
(Sports Network) - Mark Buehrle escaped with a win the last time he faced the Braves despite a subpar performance, keeping his perfect record against the club intact.
The Miami Marlins veteran looks for his fourth victory in as many starts against Atlanta this evening in the finale of a three-game series.
Buehrle has posted a 4.05 earned run average in his three career victories over the Braves, a number that took a bit of a hit in a May 16 meeting in Atlanta. The left-hander gave up four runs over six innings, but still won an 8-4 decision.
That was the first of three straight victorious starts for Buehrle, a run that ended with Friday's 6-4 loss in Philadelphia. He gave up a season-high 11 hits over five innings as well as four earned runs for the fourth time this season while matching his shortest start of 2012. The big blow came when he served up a two-run homer in the fifth following a 48-minute rain delay.
"Just a bad day at the office," remarked Buehrle, who had won four straight decisions as well. "I thought I was making good pitches but a lot of balls were finding holes."
The 33-year-old is 5-5 with a 3.53 ERA in 11 starts this season.
The Braves hope that some extra rest will get Mike Minor on track tonight as he makes his first appearance since May 26. Atlanta was able to skip over the left-hander's last start due to a rainout.
Minor is 0-3 in his last seven starts with a 9.95 ERA in his past six outings. He has given up 13 homers since his most recent win on April 19.
The 24-year-old dropped two starts in a row before not factoring into an 8-4 defeat to the Nationals last time out. He gave up four runs on six hits and two walks in five innings of work, giving him a 2-4 record and 6.98 ERA in 10 starts.
Minor faced Buehrle and the Marlins on May 16 and was hammered for six runs over 4 2/3 innings of work. He was touched for a two-run double by Austin Kearns in the fourth and saw Jose Reyes steal home in the fifth.
The Braves eye the sweep tonight after notching a 2-1 victory last night. Randall Delgado gave up one run and struck out seven over 6 1/3 innings and also drove in the second run during a two-run fourth inning with a single.
"It was a good effort by the pitching staff today," Braves manager Freddi Gonzalez said. "We played some good defense, nothing flashy, made all the routine plays and just got enough runs."
Freddi Freeman also drove in Brian McCann, who went 3-for-4, with a hit in the fourth. The one negative in the frame was that Freeman was forced to exit with a contusion on his left index finger after getting hit by a throw on a double play attempt. He is day-to-day.
The Braves have won three straight and five of six, moving into a tie with the Marlins for second place in the National League East. The clubs are two games back of the first-place Nationals.
The Marlins were shut out 11-0 in Tuesday's opener and only managed three baserunners last night while striking out nine times.
Josh Johnson pitched well enough to win for Miami, giving up two runs over 7 2/3 frames and striking out nine.
"I loved the way JJ threw the ball," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "His breaking ball was pretty good today and his command was way, way better."
Reyes had a 15-game hit streak ended as the Marlins lost at home to the Braves for the ninth time in the past 11 encounters.