Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Marlins, Braves set to square off on Jackie Day

Two weeks into the young season, and the Marlins and Braves are about to face each other for the sixth time. Miami finally claimed a win Tuesday after four straight losses to Atlanta in the rivalry, setting up the rubber match of the three-game set at Turner Field on Wednesday afternoon, which also is Jackie Robinson Day around the Majors.
It's a matchup of Miami right-hander Dan Haren and Atlanta lefty Eric Stults. Haren is 6-2 (4.50 ERA) in 10 appearances, nine starts, in his career against Atlanta. He took a no-decision in his Marlins debut despite allowing just one run in six innings.
Stults earned a spot in Atlanta's rotation while producing a 1.89 ERA during the Grapefruit League season. The lefty proved perfect through the first three innings of last week's season debut against the Mets, but he surrendered a pair of solo home runs during a three-run fourth inning. He has compiled a 2.93 ERA over the 12 starts he has made dating back to Aug. 1.
Here are three things you need to know:
1. Martin Prado, who has moved into the cleanup spot for the first two games of this series, has enjoyed success off Stults. In 23 career at-bats vs. the Atlanta lefty, Prado is batting .391 with one home run and five RBIs.
2. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said second baseman Jace Peterson will return to the lineup on Wednesday. Peterson, who has recorded just five hits through his first 21 at-bats, was not in the lineup for the first two games of this series. Alberto Callaspo might draw the third-base duties instead of Chris Johnson, who has two hits in 10 career at-bats against Haren.
3. If they can win on Wednesday, the Braves would win three straight series to begin a season for the first time since 2007. If the Marlins take the series finale, they will have their first series victory of the young season.

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