Nineteen of their final 26 games will come against foes from the NL East, including on Sunday in a rubber match against the Marlins at Sun Life Stadium.
"That's the way you want it," Braves catcher Brian McCann said. "You want to go up against teams in your division and be able to dictate what happens."
Sunday marks the final meeting between the two clubs in Miami, as the two teams don't meet again until Sept. 27, when they begin a three-game series in Atlanta.
The Braves hold a one-game lead over the Phillies in the division, while the Marlins are 10 games back of the Braves and nine games back of the Phillies in the race for the NL Wild Card.
The Braves and Marlins will start rookie pitchers on Sunday, with Atlanta left-hander Mike Minor getting the call opposite Florida right-hander Alex Sanabia.
Minor has been solid through his first four Major League starts, posting a 3-0 record and a 3.91 ERA. He also picked up a win in his latest outing on Tuesday, when he allowed two runs over five innings against the Mets.
But Minor wants to pitch deeper into games, as he ran into trouble in the fifth inning and needed 104 pitches to get through five frames.
"That last inning, I was really frustrated with myself," Minor said. "My arm didn't feel that great. It wasn't hurt, but just tired. I don't know if it was the 10 days off, but I was just tired and I wasn't hitting spots or throwing it where I wanted. Everything was just sporadic."
Sanabia, meanwhile, has also fared well despite his inexperience, as he is 3-2 with a 3.98 ERA this season over 10 appearances, including seven starts.
He's been successful because he's limited walks this season, as he's issued just two free passes over his last three outings.
"I'm working on the same things I've always been working on -- pounding the strike zone," Sanabia said. "Obviously, I'm still working on what I need to work on -- the slider and all that."
Since he returned from the Minor Leagues on Aug. 19, he's posted a 3.20 ERA over three starts, and Sanabia says it's been quite the transition.
"It's a big difference coming from there to here. Everybody here has a so much better approach," said Sanabia. "The slider that is not in the zone that isn't working, they'll just leave that alone and look for the other pitches."
Braves: Cox set for Miami finale
Sunday will be the last game Bobby Cox manages at Sun Life Stadium, as he's retiring after the season. His body of work, which includes a World Series championship and 14 division titles, has certainly impressed Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez. "When you think of Bobby Cox, you're talking about someone you admire," Rodriguez said. "I've always admired Bobby Cox. As a manager, he is someone you'd like to emulate."
Marlins: Hensley moves into new role
Right-handed reliever Clay Hensley will serve as the Marlins' closer with Leo Nunez struggling recently. It'll be an adjustment for Hensley, as the five-year veteran has never picked up a save in the big leagues. "I think Nunie is still the closer, but I'll take advantage of the situation," Hensley said. "There may be a little more added pressure, but I think there is as much pressure in the eighth."
The Marlins selected the contract of catcher Mike Rivera on Saturday, and he's expected to serve as the club's backup catcher moving forward. ... Braves right-hander Derek Lowe, who has a bone chip in his elbow, is scheduled to test his arm before Sunday's game to see if he'll be ready to make his next scheduled start on Wednesday against the Pirates. ... Braves third baseman Chipper Jones, who is out for the season with a torn ACL, was thrown out of Saturday's game for arguing with home-plate umpire Doug Eddings from the dugout.
Sun, 9/5 12:10 PM ET
Cousins co-signs on Marlins' hop-off win
Emilio Bonifacio injured teammate Logan Morrison with a foul ball in the 10th, then tripled before Morrison's replacement, Scott Cousins, hit a walk-off single for his first MLB hit, offsetting a five-run Braves rally.
- Cousins' first hit helps Marlins walk off in 10 »
- Braves rally from big deficit, but fall in extras »
|1-Hernandez, Di, PR||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||.125|
|Lee, D, 1B||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.248|
|Gonzalez, Al, SS||5||1||2||0||0||0||4||.261|
|Cabrera, Me, LF||3||0||0||1||1||1||2||.260|
1-Ran for Glaus in the 6th. 2-Ran for Freeman in the 9th.
|Ramirez, H, SS||3||1||2||3||1||1||1||.304|
|Sanchez, G, 1B||4||1||1||0||0||1||1||.284|
|Davis, B, C||3||0||1||1||0||0||0||.281|
|a-Luna, H, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.111|
2B: Gonzalez, Al (37, Sanabia), Lee, D (27, Badenhop).
TB: Infante 2; Heyward; Prado; Glaus; Lee, D 2; Gonzalez, Al 3; McLouth; Freeman.
RBI: McLouth 3 (17), McCann (72), Glaus (71), Cabrera, Me (39).
2-out RBI: McLouth.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Hinske; Heyward; Gonzalez, Al.
Team RISP: 3-for-8.
Team LOB: 6.
E: Glaus (9, fielding).
Pickoffs: Minor (Maybin at 1st base).
2B: Sanchez, G (35, Minor), Helms (9, Minor), Bonifacio (5, Minor), Morrison 2 (13, Minor, Moylan), Davis, B (3, Minor).
3B: Morrison (4, Minor), Bonifacio (2, O'Flaherty).
HR: Ramirez, H (20, 3rd inning off Minor, 1 on, 0 out).
TB: Bonifacio 6; Morrison 7; Cousins; Ramirez, H 5; Sanchez, G 2; Helms 2; Maybin; Davis, B 2.
RBI: Ramirez, H 3 (73), Helms (32), Davis, B (7), Morrison (12), Cousins (1).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Bonifacio; Sanchez, G.
SF: Davis, B.
Team RISP: 6-for-9.
Team LOB: 4.
CS: Maybin (2, 2nd base by Minor/McCann), Ramirez, H (10, 3rd base by Minor/McCann).
PO: Maybin (1st base by Minor).
Sanabia pitched to 4 batters in the 6th.
Pitches-strikes: Minor 84-54, Moylan 23-14, Farnsworth 18-13, Venters 20-15, Saito 17-11, O'Flaherty 19-15, Sanabia 91-59, Leroux 17-8, Veras 12-9, Hensley 27-16, Badenhop 19-11.
Groundouts-flyouts: Minor 2-0, Moylan 2-0, Farnsworth 2-0, Venters 0-0, Saito 0-0, O'Flaherty 2-0, Sanabia 2-3, Leroux 1-1, Veras 2-0, Hensley 3-1, Badenhop 2-0.
Batters faced: Minor 19, Moylan 4, Farnsworth 3, Venters 4, Saito 3, O'Flaherty 5, Sanabia 22, Leroux 5, Veras 3, Hensley 8, Badenhop 4.
Inherited runners-scored: Leroux 3-3.
Umpires: HP: Dana DeMuth. 1B: CB Bucknor. 2B: Kerwin Danley. 3B: Doug Eddings.
Weather: 89 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 3 mph, L to R.
T: 3:25 (:23 delay).
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media