The Atlanta Braves apparently didn’t use up all of their offense against Washington this week.
They look to keep riding an offensive surge and match their longest winning streak of the season Saturday when they continue a three-game road series with the slumping Florida Marlins.
Atlanta (42-38) swept Washington in three games at home earlier this week, outscoring the Nationals 23-3. The outburst ended a season-worst five game losing streak, during which the Braves were outscored 27-1 and were shut out four times.
The Braves kept swinging in Friday’s series opener, pounding out 14 hits in a 12-3 win. The victory came one game after Atlanta picked up a season-high 22 hits in Wednesday’s 13-0 win over Washington.
“We’re getting all kinds of hits again,” manager Bobby Cox told the Braves’ official Web site. “It goes around like that. Sometimes you just scratch your head; you can’t get anything to fall. And then, all of the sudden, everything falls.”
Third baseman Chipper Jones went 2-for-3 with four RBIs and is batting .431 (22-for-51) with nine RBIs in 14 games since being removed from the disabled list on June 13. Jeff Francouer had four hits and an RBI, and Kelly Johnson added three singles and reached base in all five of his plate appearances.
“We’ve bounced back nicely,” Jones told the team’s Web site. “There’s no need to get overly excited about it. It’s nice today. Tomorrow’s a new day. We could just as easily come out tomorrow and get shut out.”
The Marlins (37-43), meanwhile, lost for the fifth time in six games and fell to 16-24 in Miami - the second-worst home record in the NL behind Cincinnati (14-24). The Marlins have allowed 47 runs during their six-game slump, and things got so bad Friday that they sent utility infielder Jason Wood to the mound for his first career pitching appearance. He threw a perfect ninth inning.
Starter Byung-Hyun Kim (3-4, 5.72 ERA) will try to give the Marlins’ bullpen a breather on Saturday. He is 0-2 with a 6.20 ERA in four June outings since winning his first two decisions after joining Florida in a May trade with Colorado.
Kim gave up seven runs and five walks in six innings of Sunday’s 7-4 loss to Minnesota.
“He ended up with more walks than he probably wanted, but he battled out there on a hot day,” catcher Matt Treanor said.
Kim is 0-1 with a 6.14 ERA in 13 career appearances, including two starts, against the Braves.
Atlanta will counter with Tim Hudson (7-5, 3.29), who is coming off his first win in June, Monday’s 4-1 victory over Washington that ended the Braves’ losing streak. Hudson, who gave up one run in seven innings, had gone 0-2 with a 6.10 ERA in four starts in between victories.
One of the losses during the right-hander’s drought came against the Marlins on June 4, when he gave up six runs in six innings of a 6-4 defeat in Atlanta. The loss was the first in 10 career starts against Florida for Hudson, who has five wins and a 2.59 ERA versus the Marlins.