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Miami Marlins earned its 12th win in 15 games in the series opener, roughing up Braves pitching in an 8-4 victory. The Marlins have pulled within three games of Washington, which leapfrogged Atlanta Braves by a half-game for the National League East lead by beating Pittsburgh 7-4 on Wednesday.
Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton continued his hot hitting Wednesday, blasting a two-run homer in the seventh inning. All of Stanton’s team-high eight home runs have come since April 29, a span of 17 games.
Marlins Braves Betting
When: 7:10 PM ET, Thursday, May 17, 2012
Where: Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FS Florida (Miami), SportSouth (Atlanta)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins RH Ricky Nolasco (4-1, 3.65 ERA) vs. Braves RH Brandon Beachy (4-1, 1.60)
Nolasco is stuck on 68 wins and tied with Dontrelle Willis for the franchise lead after a disastrous start Saturday against the Mets. He allowed six runs on nine hits, walked three and hit two batters in 4 2/3 innings to suffer his first loss of the season. Nolasco is 5-7 with a 4.80 ERA in 20 games against the Braves, including a 3-3 mark and 4.91 ERA in 10 starts at Turner Field.
Beachy posted his sixth consecutive quality start Saturday at St. Louis, holding the Cardinals to one run on two hits over six innings and matching a season high with six strikeouts. Beachy has not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his seven starts this season. He is 1-0 with a 4.01 ERA in four starts against the Marlins.
1. Braves hitters have terrorized Nolasco, led by Brian McCann (16-for-47, six homers), Chipper Jones (15-for-42, four homers) and Martin Prado (11-for-31).
2. The Marlins lead the majors with 44 stolen bases, including four Wednesday. Emilio Bonifacio leads the way with a MLB-best 20 steals in 20 attempts.
3. Marlins starters have gone at least six innings in 32 of 38 games this season. Nolasco has been the exception to the rule, lasting at least six frames in only four of his seven starts.