TV: FOX SPORTS FLORIDA
TIME: COVERAGE BEGINS AT 7 P.M.
ATLANTA — The Miami Marlins are hopeful that right-hander Dan Straily can continue his season-long streak of success against Atlanta and help the club keep its fleeting playoff hopes alive.
Miami will send Straily (9-8, 3.91 ERA) to the mound in the opener of a four-game series at SunTrust Park, where he’ll be opposed by Atlanta rookie Sean Newcomb (2-8, 4.31) on Thursday.
The Marlins (67-72) are seven games out of the second wild card and have lost four straight games. The Braves (61-77) are long gone from the playoff picture and are a league-worst 16-32 since July 17.
But the Braves have won seven of the 11 meetings with the Marlins.
The Braves have won four of six meetings at SunTrust Park. This is Miami’s final visit to Atlanta; the Braves will close the season with a four-game set at Marlins Park, Sept. 28-Oct. 1.
Straily is the right guy for the Marlins to have on the mound against the Braves. He has been outstanding in three starts against Atlanta this season, going 2-1 with a 2.12 ERA. Straily has struck out 20 batters in 17 innings, has walked only three and has allowed just one home run.
In his last start against Atlanta on Aug. 5 at SunTrust Park, Straily allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings and took the loss. He struck out seven and allowed one walk.
Straily has made four career starts against Atlanta, going 2-2 with a 4.12 ERA.
The only Atlanta player with a homer against Straily this season is Nick Markakis, who is 2-for-8 with three strikeouts. Freddie Freeman is 1-for-5 with two strikeouts.
In Straily’s last start on Sept. 2, he was touched for four runs in five innings by the Philadelphia Phillies but still came away with the win. He was helped by the Miami bats, which came up big in a 10-9 win.
“Thank God the bats showed up,” Straily said afterward. “This game is all about picking each other up, and those guys really did a great job with the bats.”
Newcomb is trying to finish his rookie season on a strong note. He was 1-3 with a 4.02 ERA in six starts in August but allowed three or fewer runs in five of those starts. He lost to Chicago on Aug. 31 despite allowing only two earned runs in five innings with seven strikeouts.
Newcomb’s only appearance against Miami came in his second career start on June 16. He gave up three runs in six innings that night and took the loss.
Control has been the issue with Newcomb. He walked three batters in his last start and has 47 walks in 79 1/3 innings. He walked a season-high seven against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Aug. 8 and has yet to have a start without yielding a walk.
Newcomb will need to pitch carefully to Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton, who has a league-leading 53 homers and has connected five times this season against the Braves. Stanton was 1-for-3 with a strikeout against Newcomb in their only previous encounter this season. Justin Bour had a homer against Newcome in that game.