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Marlins-Braves Preview

AP - Sports

Alex Wood is determined not to be the one responsible for the Atlanta Braves' long winning streak coming to an end.

He likely won't have much to worry about if he delivers another solid performance on the mound, much like the rest of the rotation has done throughout the majority of the team's hot stretch.

The Braves look to match their longest winning streak since calling Atlanta home while dealing the visiting Miami Marlins a seventh straight defeat Saturday night.

Atlanta (71-45) hasn't lost since falling 7-4 to the New York Mets on July 25, and it has surged to a 15 1/2-game lead in the NL East. Justin Upton, Chris Johnson and Brian McCann homered in Friday's 5-0 series-opening victory as the Braves won their 14th straight.

A win Saturday would match Atlanta's longest winning streak set in 2000 since the franchise relocated from Milwaukee in 1966.

''We want to keep getting better every single day we come to the park and try to keep our foot on the gas as best we can,'' Johnson said. ''We want to be playing good baseball going into the end of the season and into the postseason.''

Solid pitching has keyed the streak, as the Braves have posted a 2.08 ERA during their run. The starters have a 2.86 ERA in that stretch, including Wood (2-2, 3.20 ERA) giving up one run and two hits in six innings of a 4-1 win over Philadelphia on Sunday.

"I didn't want to be the one to lose the streak for us," Wood said. "I just wanted to go out there and compete and keep us in it. I felt real comfortable out there."

Wood is 2-1 with a 3.98 ERA in four starts, including three straight with Paul Maholm on the disabled list due to a wrist injury and Tim Hudson out for the season after ankle surgery.

The rookie left-hander has made two relief appearances versus Miami, giving up three hits and striking out three in three scoreless innings. Wood may not have much trouble shutting down a Marlins team that has scored 12 runs during a six-game skid.

Miami (43-71), last in the majors in runs scored, mustered only four hits Friday. Giancarlo Stanton went hitless and is 4 for 37 (.108) with 15 strikeouts over his last 10 games.

The Marlins' offensive woes have been especially evident with scheduled starter Nathan Eovaldi on the mound.

Eovaldi (2-2, 3.19) has a 1.42 ERA over his last three starts, but he was a tough-luck 2-0 loser to Cleveland on Sunday after allowing one run in seven innings. It marked the fourth straight outing he hasn't received any run support, and the Marlins have gone empty in his last 27 innings on the mound since scoring twice in the second inning of Eovaldi's last victory - an 8-3 win over Washington on July 12.

''You just try to put up zeros, and if we score runs, that's good,'' Eovaldi said.

Manager Mike Redmond has been impressed with the 23-year-old right-hander.

"He's done a great job, and he's got a great arm," Redmond said. "He's got a fastball that can get anybody out. When he's down in the zone, he can dominate a lineup."

Eovaldi is 0-1 with a 3.68 ERA in four starts versus the Braves, who have won 11 of the last 14 meetings.

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