Playing the final week of the season at home might give the Atlanta Braves the confidence they need to overcome their recent poor play and win the wild card.
The Braves look to bounce back from a rough road trip when they face the Florida Marlins on Monday night.
Though Atlanta (87-69) lost five of six to go 4-5 on its final road trip, the Braves are one-half game behind San Diego in the wild-card race. After three with Florida (77-78), the Braves play three against NL East leader Philadelphia at Turner Field where they are a major league-best 52-23.
The Braves likely will need to find a way to score some runs to remain a postseason contender. Atlanta is batting .200 while averaging 2.3 runs in its last six games.
“We’ve got to make every at-bat count,” said McCann, who is batting .214 with no homers and five RBIs in his last 21 games.
Rick Ankiel(notes) homered and drove in both Atlanta runs in a 4-2 loss at Washington on Sunday, but is 4 for 26 in his last 16 games. Rookie Jason Heyward(notes) went 0 for 3 and is 1 for 15 in his last four contests. He is batting .362, however, against the Marlins this season.
The right-hander allowed two hits in six scoreless innings of a 1-0 loss at Philadelphia on Wednesday. Hanson has received 2.61 runs of support while going 2-5 with a 2.61 ERA in his last 13 starts.
“He’s had no luck. We can’t score runs for him,” manager Bobby Cox said.
Hanson has received an average of 5.46 runs of support while going 3-1 with a 3.64 ERA in five career starts versus Florida. He is 2-1 against the Marlins this season, but gave up seven runs and four homers in five innings of a 7-1 home loss Aug. 27.
The rookie right-hander gave up three runs in five innings of a 7-5 win over the Mets on Wednesday.
“He’s been outstanding,” Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said. “He’s putting himself in the picture and a very good situation for next year.”
Sanabia has a 5.79 ERA without a decision in two starts versus Atlanta.
Florida’s struggling offense was kept in check again Sunday in a 7-1 loss at Milwaukee. The Marlins totaled 10 runs while losing three of four at Miller Park.
It’s uncertain if Hanley Ramirez(notes) will return to Florida’s lineup after missing five straight games with a left elbow injury. The star shortstop is batting .407 with four homers and 11 RBIs against the Braves this season.