National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, May 1st
(All times Eastern)
Atlanta Braves (17-9) at Miami Marlins (13-14), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Atlanta - Ervin Santana (3-0, 1.95)
Miami - Henderson Alvarez (1-2, 2.73)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Miami Marlins will try to sweep the Atlanta Braves
in a three-game series at home for the first time in almost eight years as the
NL East rivals square off on Thursday night.
The Marlins have broken out their bats over the first two games of this set
and matched it with solid pitching to move to 13-14 on the year. Jose
Fernandez hurled eight scoreless innings in Tuesday's 9-0 win before Nathan
Eovaldi scattered a run over seven frames of last night's 9-3 decision.
Eovaldi yielded three hits and fanned five.
"Just attack, stay on them and keep attacking. Get the guys back into the
dugout and fast as possible," Eovaldi said. "We got a big lead and I wasn't
afraid to give up a run or two. You just have to keep pounding the strike
That big lead came thanks to a three-run homer off the bat of Marcell Ozuna
and Christian Yelich's two-run shot. Garrett Jones added a pair of RBI as
All the damage came off Atlanta starter Aaron Harang, who came into the game
with an MLB-leading 0.85 earned run average, but saw that jump to 2.97 after
giving up all nine runs over 4 2/3 frames.
"Pitch here, pitch there and all of a sudden he gets into better counts. I
think he got frustrated," said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. "As a competitor
and a pitcher pitching pretty good, you don't like to give up a lot of runs."
Atlanta, which got a late two-run homer from Justin Upton, had won four in a
row before this series, while Miami has won three of its last four.
The Marlins sit 11-4 at home compared to 2-10 on the road and will try for
their first three-game sweep over the Braves as the hosting club since June
Miami did take all three games of a series in Atlanta from April 14-16, but
are just 6-15 all-time at Marlins Park versus the Braves.
Henderson Alvarez hopes to pitch the Marlins to the sweep and extend his
unbeaten streak to four straight games, a run that follows an 0-2 start.
The right-hander has sandwiched a pair of no-decisions around a two-hit
shutout of Seattle on April 19. Alvarez followed up that outing against the
New York Mets on Friday, giving up two runs on six hits and two walks over six
Alvarez, 24, is 0-2 with a 6.86 ERA in his career versus the Braves, while
Ervin Santana will counter looking to beat the Marlins for the first time. He
is 0-2 with a 6.59 ERA against them.
The 31-year-old righty is undefeated on the year at 3-0 with a 1.95 ERA for
the Braves and had allowed just two runs over his first three starts before
yielding four in a 5-4 win over Cincinnati on Friday. Santana struck out seven
over 6 2/3 innings.
05/01 10:24:38 ET