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MIA@ATL: Minor fans nine over six solid frames

After they traded Ricky Nolasco to the Dodgers on Saturday, the Marlins are giving Kevin Slowey another chance in the rotation.

Slowey, who was moved to the bullpen in June, will pitch for Miami in its series opener against Atlanta on Monday. He'll have some tough competition in Braves starter Mike Minor.

In his 13 starts this season, Slowey is 1-6 with a 4.50 ERA.

In his last start on June 12, he gave up six runs on nine hits over five innings in a 10-1 loss to the Brewers. Less than a month later, he'll get the chance to show some improvement as a starter for Miami once again.

Slowey said he isn't sure how he'll adjust from being a reliever.

"I don't think I'll know until tomorrow, but I'll be as ready as I can be and the preparation will be there," Slowey said. "It will be up to me to go and execute and do my best."

Marlins manager Mike Redmond said the team had an idea Nolasco was going to be traded, so they made sure to hold Slowey back so he would be rested to start in place of Nolasco.

Slowey made four relief appearances, going 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA. Now he's likely going to get two starts before the All-Star break. At that point, the Marlins will reevaluate their rotation for the second half.

For now, there's a chance Slowey will remain a starter after the break.

"We talked about it a little bit. We'll just play it by ear," Redmond said. "As of right now, we'll plan on just starting Monday and then kind of figuring it out. It's more than likely that he'll pitch those two starts before the All-Star break and then we'll figure it out from there."

Slowey will face a tough Atlanta lineup. While they lost to the Phillies on Sunday, the Braves pounded Philadelphia with 19 hits and 13 runs in Saturday's 13-4 win.

Catcher Brian McCann's fifth-inning double was a big part of that outburst. He continued his hot hitting with a 3-for-4 performance on Sunday. In his last 11 games, McCann is hitting a stellar .512.

"I had a two-week period when I didn't feel good," McCann said. "The last week or so, I've been feeling really good at the dish."

Slowey said it does help that he pitched against the Braves earlier this week. He came on in relief in an 11-3 loss to Atlanta on Tuesday, and didn't have much success in two innings. He gave up four runs on five hits, walked two and struck out two.

Nolasco faced the Braves on Wednesday and pitched well. He allowed two runs on six hits with no walks and seven strikeouts over seven innings.

While the Braves won't be facing Nolasco on Monday, Atlanta might see Slowey take a similar approach.

"What I'm probably going to do is watch Ricky throwing against them in Atlanta," Slowey said, "and see what worked and what didn't."

Marlins: Club bolsters bullpen
• Miami recalled right-hander Chris Hatcher from Triple-A New Orleans to take Nolasco's roster spot. Hatcher converted 24 of 25 save opportunities, earning a spot on the Pacific Coast League All-Star team.

• Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria carries a season-high seven-game hitting streak into Monday night's game. He's hitting .423 during the streak.

Braves: Johnson on a roll
• Atlanta third baseman Chris Johnson continued his hot hitting with a solo home run in the loss to Philadelphia on Sunday. In his last 12 games, Johnson is hitting .409 with two home runs and eight RBIs.

• Minor has given up at least four earned runs in three of his last four starts, including his last outing against Miami. He did that only once in his first 13 starts to the season.

Worth noting
• Miami and Atlanta have played two series -- six games -- this season, with the Braves sweeping the first one back in early April, and the Marlins winning two of three last week. Comments