video thumbnail

MIA@ATL: Cosart allows no runs over seven-plus

Only six days removed from a tough day against Marlins hurler Jarred Cosart at Turner Field, the Braves will face the right-hander again on Friday night at Marlins Park as each team tries to keep pace in the National League Wild Card race.

The Braves are a half-game behind the Brewers for the second NL Wild Card spot, while the Marlins are 5 1/2 games back. Atlanta, which is off, could tie Milwaukee on Thursday, pending the outcome of the Brewers-Cardinals finale.

Cosart shut down Atlanta in seven-plus scoreless frames on Saturday, working around seven hits and a walk to earn the victory. It was more of the same for Cosart, who has compiled a 0.65 ERA while posting four straight quality starts.

"Some guys really need that adrenaline, and they really thrive in those situations," Miami manager Mike Redmond said after Cosart's gem against the Braves. "For him, going from Houston to our team, a team that is young and headed in the right direction and is fighting for a playoff spot, that energizes guys.

"You kind of see the best from your players in those situations. He's definitely one of those guys who has risen to the occasion. He wants it. He wants to help us make it to the playoffs. Those are the kinds of guys a manager wants on his team."

"Tonight was like your right-handed version of Cliff Lee," Braves right fielder Jason Heyward said. "A lot of cutters in the zone and a lot of cutters ahead of the zone. If you have a good curveball, everything is hard, it's a tough at-bat."

Aaron Harang will take another shot at outdueling Cosart. Harang has been consistently solid, compiling a 3.64 ERA in 28 starts this season. He also has a career-high 21 quality starts.

Braves: Heyward reaching base with regularity
Despite a hitless game on Wednesday, Heyward has been getting it done with his bat since July 8. He has tallied 20 multihit games in his past 45 contests, batting .337 (58-for-172) during that run.

Even more impressively, Heyward has reached base via a hit or a walk in 86 of his past 100 games since May 9, batting .295 (113-for-383) during the stretch.

Marlins: McGehee swinging hot bat
Third baseman Casey McGehee owns a seven-game hitting streak and has hit safely in 11 of his past 12 contests, batting .306 (15-for-49) with seven walks, six strikeouts and four multihit games since Aug. 22.

The recent surge has come after McGehee's month-long slump that saw him bat only .194 (20-for-103) with nine walks, 22 strikeouts and six multihit games in 27 contests from July 22-Aug. 20.

Worth noting
• By opening the eighth inning of Wednesday's 4-3 loss to the Mets with his 36th homer of the year, Miami's Giancarlo Stanton came even closer to the top of the team's record books. His next blast would not only tie his single-season high of 37 (2012), but also tie Dan Uggla's franchise record for 154 homers, which he accomplished in 776 games with the Marlins. Stanton, who has homered in three straight games, has 153 career homers in 627 Major League games.

• The Marlins are being cautious with Henderson Alvarez, so the likelihood that the Braves will see him in this series is slim. The right-hander left his last start on Monday with a left oblique strain, and he was tentatively scheduled to throw a bullpen at Marlins Park during Thursday's off-day.

• The Braves' Justin Upton sat out Wednesday's game with a sore left triceps muscle suffered when he was hit by a Kyle Kendrick pitch on Tuesday night.

MLB.com Comments