Sanchez hopes to start for Braves vs. Marlins

By Stan Awtrey, The Sports Xchange
Atlanta Braves pitcher Anibal Sanchez (19) gets ready to throw against the Washington Nationals during a game earlier this month. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Atlanta Braves pitcher Anibal Sanchez (19) gets ready to throw against the Washington Nationals during a game earlier this month. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

The Atlanta Braves hope to see a healthy Anibal Sanchez take the mound against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday.

Sanchez, the veteran right-hander who has been the team's most consistent starting pitcher all season, had to leave his last start with a left calf bruise after being hit by a line drive in the second inning. Sanchez was in obvious discomfort after the game, but has been positive about his return since the injury.


"I would love to make the next start," Sanchez said after his injury. "We'll see how I feel. Because it's the front leg, I'll probably be able to pitch in five or six days."

It will be five days, if Sanchez is able to go.

Sanchez (6-3, 2.83) will be opposed by Miami right-hander Trevor Richards (3-7, 3.98), who will be facing the Braves for the first time.


The Braves opened the four-game series by sweeping a double-header from the Marlins. Atlanta is 10-3 against Miami this season.

The Marlins will need to find a way to slow down Atlanta rookie Ronald Acuna Jr., who has homered in four straight games. Acuna led off both games of the double-headers with a home run on Monday and became only the fourth player to do so, the first since Brady Anderson in 1999.

"He's just real confident and on the attack," Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said.

Atlanta right fielder Nick Markakis said, "He's making adjustments constantly. You can see it pitch by pitch. Sometimes, he's fouling them off a little late and he's getting himself going a little earlier. He's been great at the top of the lineup. He's been doing exactly what he should and even more. Hopefully he keeps it going."

Since being moved into the leadoff spot for the first time on July 20, Acuna has played 23 games there. He's batting 31-for-90 (.344) with 10 homers and 23 runs scored. He has a 10-game hitting streak, going 13-for-29 (.448) over that stretch. He was 6-for-9 in Monday's double-header with two homers and a double.


Richards will be making his 18th start of the season and has been one of Miami's top pitchers over the last month. In six starts since July 8, Richards is 1-2 with a 1.91 ERA -- the fourth-best among National League starters during that time.

Richards has been effectively using his changeup to get ahead of batters, although when the pitch doesn't work the opposition can hit it a long way.

"You've got to keep pitching and you've got to keep making pitches," Miami manager Don Mattingly said. "As you get tired, it's hard to make pitches. Guys have seen you a couple a times. I think all these experiences are good for those guys."

The Marlins lost a pair of infielders to injuries on Monday. They placed veteran Martin Prado on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left quad and recalled utility man Christopher Bostick from Triple-A New Orleans. Third baseman Miguel Rojas then left the game early with a left ankle sprain and is listed as day-to-day.

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