Marlins-Braves Preview

The Associated Press

While some believed Ricky Nolasco might be traded before Wednesday's scheduled start, he remains in a Miami Marlins uniform for the time being.

That could bode well for the Atlanta Braves, who have had his number over the years.

Set to make what might be his final start for Miami, Nolasco tries to avoid a fifth consecutive loss to a Braves team that may be without B.J. Upton.

Nolasco's name has continuously come up in trade rumors over the last few weeks, and it seems likely he'll be moved sooner rather than later. The right-hander is the club's all-time leader in wins (80), innings pitched (1,218 2-3) and strikeouts (994), but he's being shopped with the Marlins (30-52) unlikely to contend.

"You read about it; you see it on the Internet," he told MLB's official website. "But my job is to focus on what I have to do every fifth day."

Nolasco (4-8, 3.93 ERA) may have been distracted by the rumors in Friday's 9-2 loss to San Diego, allowing six runs and a season-high 11 hits in a season low-tying five innings.

"Whether I pitched good or bad tonight, I don't think that's going to dictate what kind of pitcher I am, or who I've been, or what they're going to get," he said. "There is nothing I can do but just continue on trying to make quality pitches."

The 30-year-old Nolasco hasn't faced the Braves (49-34) this year but has mostly struggled against them, going 5-10 - his most losses against any team - with a 5.34 ERA in 22 starts. He's 0-4 with a 7.07 ERA in his last five outings in the series.

Nolasco has had an especially rough time against Brian McCann, who is 19 for 55 (.345) with seven homers and four doubles in their matchups. Jason Heyward is 7 for 20 with four extra-base hits.

Upton is just 2 for 13 against Nolasco, but he could be held out after leaving Tuesday's 11-3 victory due to left forearm spasms. He's listed as day to day.

The Braves' win was their eighth in a row in the series, a stretch during which they've outscored the Marlins 40-10. Justin Upton, Freddie Freeman, McCann and Chris Johnson went a combined 11 for 17 with six RBIs and eight runs for Atlanta, which collected a season-high 16 hits - none of which left the yard. The Braves improved to 5-25 when failing to homer.

"I was just trying to pick up the guys in front of me and I think that's the mark of a good ballclub," said Johnson, who has batted .458 as the Braves have won six of seven.

Atlanta, which has hit .348 and scored 31 runs during a four-game winning streak, owns the majors' best home record at 28-11.

The Braves give the ball to Mike Minor (8-3, 2.98), who is 0-1 with a 5.50 ERA in his last three starts. The left-hander surrendered three runs and a season high-tying nine hits in six innings last Wednesday in a 4-3, 10-inning loss at Kansas City.

"It's one of those things where I felt I was making good pitches again," he said.

Minor threw 5 2-3 innings of five-hit ball in an 8-0 win at Miami on April 10, improving to 2-1 with a 1.27 ERA in his last four matchups in the series. Giancarlo Stanton is 2 for 9 against him, though both hits were homers.