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ATL@NYM: Minor holds Mets to two runs over seven

The second game of the Marlins-Braves series at Turner Field on Tuesday night will feature starters who have spent the majority of their seasons struggling to find a foothold on the mound.

Granted, they've done it in different ways.

For the Marlins, Jacob Turner is coming off a month-long stint as a reliever. He made his last start on June 11 at Texas, where he only lasted four innings after allowing five runs. He opened the season in the rotation, but was moved to the bullpen after going 2-4 with a 6.38 ERA in nine starts.

Although Turner wasn't stellar in relief -- he made eight appearances and was 0-2 with a 5.74 ERA -- the Marlins do see the right-hander as a pitcher with a lot of upside. After all, he's only 23 years old and in his second full Major League season.

"This is another opportunity for him to show he can win at the big league level," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "I want him to finish out the season. That's the plan. We want him to be successful and help us win. As a manager, you don't want to be pulling guys in and out of the rotation. Stability is the key to success. But ultimately, that's up to them."

The Braves' Mike Minor, meanwhile, has just struggled to return to his old form. When he last took the mound before the All-Star break, he had gone nine games without recording a victory. In that July 12 contest against the Cubs, he didn't throw his best game. He allowed six runs on 11 hits through six frames, but his teammates, who had mounted an early lead, kept him from extending that streak to 10 with an offensive outburst of their own.

With an elusive third win finally under his belt, Atlanta's southpaw might benefit from nine days of rest. The Marlins are one of the teams that have given Minor the most fits throughout his career. In 73 2/3 innings that span 13 starts, he is 3-4 with a 4.52 ERA.

In the same vein, Turner has a career 4.40 ERA in five starts against the Braves.

Marlins: Important stretch on road
The time is now for the Marlins to make up ground before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. The direction the club may swing could very well depend on how the club does during the road trip, which begins in Atlanta before moving to Houston.

The Marlins opened the season with a 3-15 record over their first 18 road games, but have turned things around since then, going 14-13 over their last 27.

"Every series this time of year is big, especially when you're chasing teams," Redmond said. "The pitching is going to be the focus and key for us. If we pitch, and keep ourselves in games, and give our offense a chance, and score runs, we'll be fine. We need those pitchers to step up. It's that time of year where your pitching has to keep you in games. In [Atlanta], we're going up against a great team with a great pitching staff, and bullpen. We'll have have our work cut out for us."

Braves: Gattis' return means big bat is back
Evan Gattis came off the disabled list in time for Monday night's series-opening, 3-1 loss. He hit sixth against the Marlins in his first appearance for Atlanta since coming down with back issues on June 27.

Although it didn't seem like the Braves missed him too much while he was out of commission -- they went 13-6 -- Gattis had been a driving force for the Braves in 26 games before getting hurt. He hit .354/.407/.657 with eight homers and 21 RBIs.

The catcher went 1-for-3 at the plate with one walk on Monday. In his first at-bat, with Jason Heyward and Justin Upton at second and third, he struck out on seven pitches.

Worth noting
• Christian Yelich, who's been hot for the Marlins in July, went 2-for-4 on Monday night. The outfielder is hitting .338 (23-for-68) with seven RBIs this month.

• Braves rookie Tommy La Stella went hitless on Monday for the 16th time in his 47-game career. He has gone 7-for-21 over his last five games and has hit safely in 11 of his last 14 contests, going 18-for-55 (.327) in that stretch. Comments