The Atlanta Braves' offense has come to life during their three-game winning streak, the latest outburst coming without Chipper Jones in the lineup.
Jones will likely sit out again Saturday night when Atlanta hosts the Milwaukee Brewers, who hope Shaun Marcum can help get a struggling starting rotation back on track.
The Braves (3-4) have scored 26 runs on 36 hits over the last three games, including a 10-8 win over Milwaukee in their home opener Friday. They plated a total of 10 runs while losing four straight to open the season as Jones sat out with a knee injury.
Jones returned to go 4 for 9 with a two-run homer in the first two games of Atlanta's winning streak, but had fluid drained from his swelling knee prior to Friday's contest, forcing manager Fredi Gonzalez to scratch his aging third baseman just before batting practice.
''My body has got a lot of mileage, a lot of games, a lot of innings on it,'' said Jones, who wasn't sure whether he'd be able to play Saturday. "This is one of the byproducts of that. It (stinks).
"I knew there were going to be times I would wake up and not be able to go, but I had no idea it would happen this quick.''
The rest of the Atlanta lineup picked up the slack Friday, as Brian McCann went 4 for 5 with four RBIs including a three-run homer in a six-run fifth inning. Matt Diaz added a two-run blast in that frame.
McCann had been 3 for 19 in his previous five games.
"I've been seeing the ball well all year long,'' McCann said. "I didn't have much to show for it until (Friday). You've just got to stay the course and nights like this will happen.''
Jason Heyward went 2 for 4, but he's 0 for 6 with four strikeouts lifetime against Marcum, who will look to remain unbeaten versus Atlanta.
Marcum allowed three runs in six innings of a 7-5 win over the Chicago Cubs on Monday, his season debut. The right-hander has allowed three runs and struck out 12 in 13 innings against the Braves, going 1-0 in two starts.
The Brewers hope Marcum fares better than their previous two starters Zack Greinke and Randy Wolf, who allowed eight runs and nine hits apiece in losses to the Cubs and Atlanta, respectively.
Corey Hart homered and drove in three runs while Ryan Braun went 3 for 5 with a pair of RBIs to help Milwaukee (4-4) battle back from an 8-3 deficit to tie the game Friday. Aramis Ramirez went 1 for 5, but he's 6 for 9 with a homer lifetime against Mike Minor, Saturday's scheduled starter for Atlanta.
Minor will look to bounce back in his second outing after allowing six runs in five innings of a 7-5 loss to the New York Mets on Sunday. The left-hander also had a rough time in his only previous start versus the Brewers, giving up five runs and walking four in 4 1-3 innings of a 5-4 loss April 6, 2011.