Given his recent success against the Miami Marlins, it's not surprising that Justin Upton has snapped out of a brief slump in a big way this week.
Upton will try to keep hitting and left-hander Paul Maholm will seek to add to his recent dominance against the Marlins when the Atlanta Braves go for a team-record seventh consecutive win in Miami on Wednesday.
Upton headed to Marlins Park having gone 3 for 23 (.130) in his previous five games but he has four doubles, a home run and five RBIs in the first two in this series. He went 3 for 5 with a homer, two RBIs and scored three times in a 6-4 win Tuesday.
"(Justin's) starting to swing it like he did early in the season," manager Fredi Gonzalez said of his outfielder, who had 12 homers in his first 23 games.
Upton is batting .400 with five homers, nine doubles, two triples and 21 RBIs in his last 22 games against the Marlins. He'll try to add to those numbers while helping Maholm (9-7, 3.81 ERA) continue his success versus Miami (32-57).
The left-hander is 3-0 with a 0.95 ERA in his last four starts against the Marlins, and has kept them scoreless for 13 2-3 innings. He yielded one hit and three walks over seven frames in his only matchup this season, a 2-0 victory April 8.
Maholm had a two-start win streak snapped Friday as he gave up five runs and nine hits - including a season-high two homers - over six innings in a 5-4 defeat in Philadelphia. He allowed four of those runs in the first three innings.
"I made some mistakes and they hit them hard," Maholm told the team's website. "There were a few plays we could have taken care of, but it's one of those days where you battle and see how long you can go."
Maholm will next face a Marlins team that's batted .185 during a five-game skid after hitting .257 during a 10-3 stretch. Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton has been slumping even longer, going 5 for 35 (.143) with 13 strikeouts and one extra-base hit in his last 10 games.
Jacob Turner (2-1, 2.30) looks to rebound from his first loss of the season. In his return to his home state, the right-hander allowed four runs over six innings Friday in a 4-1 defeat in St. Louis after posting a 1.76 ERA in his first six starts.
"I wish I would have pitched a little better and pitched a little deeper into the game," he told the team's website.
Turner lost his only start against the Braves on Sept. 27, giving up four runs - two earned - over six innings.
The Braves are 12-2 all-time at Marlins Park and have won 20 of 25 overall in the series.
The Associated Press News Service
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