National League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, August 31 (All times Eastern)
Miami Marlins (66-68) at Atlanta Braves (71-65), 5:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Miami - Nathan Eovaldi (6-9, 4.30) Atlanta - Alex Wood (9-10, 3.09)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Atlanta Braves hope to bounce back in Sunday's rubber match versus the Miami Marlins at Turner Field.
After taking Friday's opener, 5-2, the Braves were blanked by a 4-0 score Saturday night. Aaron Harang had a rough outing for the hosts and was reached for four runs -- three earned -- and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. He fanned five and walked three, falling to 10-9 on the season.
Jason Heyward had three of the Braves' nine hits. He has 19 multi-hit games since July 8 (41 games).
"When we don't make contact, people talk about us striking out. So it's just part of the game. We're just going through one of those phases where we're grounding into some double plays," Braves third baseman Chris Johnson said. "We don't have a ton of speed guys on the team, so when we do hit ground balls they end up being double plays."
The Braves had won three in a row and are still 10-5 in the last 15 games. They are 1 1/2 games off the second wild card spot in the National League and seven games in back of Washington for the NL East lead.
Atlanta hasn't lost a series since dropping three of four matchups with the LA Angels from Aug. 11-14.
Philadelphia will visit Turner Field next for three games.
Atlanta will send Alex Wood to the bump Sunday and he has been quite decent his past few starts. He did lose his last time out in a 3-2 loss against the Mets on Tuesday and gave up three runs in seven innings.
Wood has allowed no more than three runs in each of his past six trips to the hill and is 9-10 with a 3.09 ERA. He has made seven career appearances (4 starts) against the Marlins and has a 1-3 mark with a 5.26 ERA.
The Marlins will try to cling to their faint playoff hopes when they target a series win Sunday. They are 5 1/2 games off a wild card berth and won for the third time in the previous nine tries on Saturday.
Jarred Cosart had no problem with Atlanta's lineup and scattered seven hits over seven scoreless innings with five strikeouts and a walk.
"My goal is to pitch good every time out regardless of where we are in the standings," said Cosart. "It just makes it look a little better than I am able to do this more in the heat of the battle. I think that's when I pitch my best.
"The bullpen obviously kept the zero up there for me today. I think we have a team that grinds it out and we definitely have a shot to get in the playoffs and if we do we're going to be really dangerous because of that. I'm just going out there to continuing to do my part every five days. That's all I can do."
Donovan Solano had three hits, including a solo homer, and drove in two runs for the Marlins, who halted a three-game losing streak.
Miami will close out this nine-game road trip Sunday and are slated to host the New York Mets and Braves next for six games at Marlins Park.
Nathan Eovaldi has struggled of late and looks to get back on track for the Marlins Sunday. Eovaldi has lost three straight starts and is only 1-6 in his previous seven decisions. In Tuesday's 8-2 loss to the LA Angels, he was touched for six runs and 10 hits in a season-low 3 1/3 innings, falling to 6-9 with a 4.30 ERA this season.
Eovaldi, a right-hander, has made 10 career starts against the Braves and is 2-2 with a 2.35 ERA. He lost to the Braves on July 23 in a 6-1 setback and surrendered five runs over seven innings of work.
08/31 10:22:21 ET