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ATL@MIA: Medlen shines in shutout start vs. Marlins

For the Braves, Tuesday could be one of the biggest days of the season. Off Monday after beating the Phillies, 2-1, on Sunday, they have a magic number of one for clinching a spot in the playoffs.

Atlanta can clinch by virtue of a win over the Marlins at Turner Field or losses by both the Brewers and Dodgers. Milwaukee plays at Cincinnati and Los Angeles is at San Diego.

The Braves will have their ideal starting pitcher on the mound to get it done. They reworked their rotation to put right-hander Kris Medlen in line to pitch in the Wild Card game, and as a byproduct, Tuesday's potential clincher.

The Braves have won 21 straight games Medlen has started, one game shy of the Major League record. Medlen and the Braves will try to join Whitey Ford and the Yankees and Carl Hubbell and the Giants as the only teams to have won 22 straight games started by a pitcher.

"I just go out there and try to win every time -- that's the goal," Medlen said. "It's all Groundhog Day. It's the same thing every day, just a different lineup. You attack guys, and see what happens."

The Marlins will send rookie right-hander Nathan Eovaldi to the mound looking to snap their own four-game losing streak. They also hope to end Medlen's streak and delay the Braves' celebration.

Eovaldi has made two starts against the Braves since being traded to the Marlins as a part of the Hanley Ramirez deal with the Dodgers in late July. The first did not go well, as he allowed six runs on eight hits in two innings on Aug. 2. But last week, Eovaldi struck out five batters in a career-high eight scoreless innings.

"The [first] time, I just really wasn't locating any of my offspeed [pitches]," Eovaldi said. "I tried to put that in the past and attack them the same way. Just use my offspeed to my advantage. I didn't really throw my curveball too well. Still, just being able to throw it enough to change speeds and eye levels -- it just worked out."

Braves: Bourn hopes to return Tuesday
• Center fielder Michael Bourn was out of the lineup on Sunday with a sore thumb, which he hurt sliding into second base on Saturday. Because Monday's off-day gives Bourn a chance to have back-to-back days off, Bourn said he hopes to be able to return to the Braves' lineup on Tuesday.

Bourn is hitting .274 with a .346 on-base percentage, and leads the NL with 39 stolen bases.

Marlins: Stanton still hampered by sore side
• Right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, who has not played in more than a week, may miss the Marlins' series against the Braves. Stanton has been sidelined by a sore left intercostal muscle and is listed as day-to-day.

Stanton initially sustained the injury on Sept. 15, and last played Sept. 16. He is hitting .283, with a .595 slugging percentage and 34 home runs.

• Outfielder Justin Ruggiano remains out indefinitely with a sprained right shoulder he suffered in the Marlins' loss to the Mets on Friday.

In 91 games this season, Ruggiano is hitting .313 with 13 home runs and 14 stolen bases.

Worth noting
• Braves third baseman Chipper Jones needs three RBIs against the Marlins to tie Dale Murphy's Atlanta record for most career RBIs against one opponent. Jones has 165 career RBIs against the Marlins, while Murphy had 168 against the Padres in his 15 years with the Braves.

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