Medlen, though, is scheduled to make his first start in two seasons as the Braves try to match their longest winning streak of the year Tuesday night in the second of four with the visiting Miami Marlins .
After reportedly coming close to acquiring Ryan Dempster last week, Atlanta (58-44) completed a different deal with the Chicago Cubs on Monday, acquiring left-hander Paul Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson in exchange for two minor leaguers."We got two real key fits for us," general manager Frank Wren said. "If we are done, if nothing else transpires tomorrow, we will be real happy with where we are."
Wren said Maholm may join the team in Atlanta on Wednesday. Johnson is expected to join the team on Tuesday.
Despite that trade, the Braves still plan to give the ball to Medlen (1-1, 2.48 ERA) in this game.
The right-hander has allowed one run over 10 relief appearances spanning 16 1-3 innings this month. He went 5-0 with a 3.86 ERA in 14 starts in 2010, with the Braves winning 13 of those games - including each of his last 11 starts.
"I'm really excited, don't get me wrong, but a lot of things can change," Medlen, who's expected to be limited to around 70 pitches Tuesday, told MLB's official website. "It's just a matter of getting my pitch count up and all that, I think that's the biggest hurdle for me. Especially in August in Atlanta, getting up to 100 pitches."
Medlen is 0-1 with a 3.60 ERA in 12 career appearances - two starts - against the Marlins (47-55). He most recently struck out five over three scoreless innings during Wednesday's 7-1 win at Miami.
The Braves have had their way with the Marlins of late, posting their seventh win in eight meetings Monday with an 8-2 victory. Jason Heyward hit his third homer in five games and scored a season-high three runs while Michael Bourn , Dan Uggla and pinch- hitter Juan Francisco all drove in two.
The Braves' sixth consecutive win moved them a season-high 14 games above .500 and into a first-place tie in the NL wild-card standings. Atlanta, which won a season-best seven straight July 5-15, also sits 3 1/2 games behind East-leading Washington.
"I think this is the homestand where we can really put some pressure on first place," Chipper Jones said. "The bottom line is to keep winning."
The Braves have to like their chances of keeping things going with a matchup against Ricky Nolasco (8-9, 4.80) in store. The right-hander, who's compiled a 7.56 ERA in dropping each of his last three starts, is trying to avoid losing four in a row for the first time in his career.
Nolasco was tagged for six runs and eight hits over 5 1-3 innings Wednesday, giving up two-run homers to Bourn and Francisco.
"He was off, very off. The stuff wasn't there," manager Ozzie Guillen said of Nolasco, who dropped to 0-3 with a 7.04 ERA over his last four starts against Atlanta.
Nolasco can't be looking forward to facing Brian McCann , who's gone 18 for 52 in their matchups with six homers - the most he's allowed to any player.
Medlen, meanwhile, will need to be wary of Jose Reyes , who's batting .343 during a 17-game hitting streak. The speedy shortstop doubled twice, drove in a run and stole his 25th base Monday.
|July 29, 2012||Logan Morrison||15-Day DL||Right knee inflammation|
|July 23, 2012||Juan Carlos Oviedo||15-Day DL||Right elbow sprain|
|July 08, 2012||Giancarlo Stanton||15-Day DL||Arthroscopic right knee surgery|
|July 08, 2012||Hanley Ramirez||Day-to-Day||Right finger laceration|
|July 06, 2012||Giancarlo Stanton||Day-to-Day||Sore right knee|
|June 30, 2012||Edward Mujica||15-Day DL||Fractured right pinkie toe|
|July 20, 2012||Matt Diaz||15-Day DL||Right thumb contusion|
|July 14, 2012||Jack Wilson||15-Day DL||Dislocated right pinkie finger|
|July 09, 2012||Andrelton Simmons||Day-to-Day||Broken right pinkie|
|July 09, 2012||Andrelton Simmons||15-Day DL||Broken right pinkie finger|
|July 08, 2012||Andrelton Simmons||Day-to-Day||Broken right pinkie|
|July 05, 2012||Jonny Venters||15-Day DL||Left elbow impingement|
ATLANTA (AP) -- Kris Medlen felt relaxed before making his first start in nearly two years.
For a guy who's started just 19 of 109 career appearances, he didn't feel any jitters.
"I was much more calm," he said. "If you'd asked me that in the first start I had, it would've been completely different. But I just felt like I was in control."
Medlen had a successful return to the rotation, Brian McCann homered and the Atlanta Braves beat the Miami Marlins 7-1 on Tuesday night for their seventh straight win.
Atlanta has won 10 of 13 to close within 2 1/2 games of first-place Washington in the NL East following the Nationals' 8-0 loss to Philadelphia.
Rain delayed the game 1 hour, 53 minutes before the start of the sixth inning.
Medlen (2-1) allowed four hits, one run and one walk with three strikeouts in five innings. He made his first start since receiving no-decision in an 8-3 win over the New York Mets on Aug. 4, 2010.
"He gave us everything we wanted him to," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He was trying to talk us into going one more inning, but no chance. He goes back (to start) on Sunday, and we'll add another 20-25 pitches to his outing and hopefully get us deeper in the ballgame."
McCann's 18th homer, a solo shot, gave the Braves a 4-1 lead in the third. In his last 19 games, McCann has nine homers and 20 RBIs.
"I've been feeling good for a while," McCann said. "The first half (of the season) was - I've got a lot of making up to do. Hopefully this next month I'll just keep going. I've got two more months to finish strong and keep going."
Ricky Nolasco (8-10) gave up seven hits, four runs and four walks and struck out six in five innings. He has lost four straight starts and has a 7.48 ERA over that span.
Donnie Murphy 's third homer made it 1-0 in the first, but the Braves took a 3-1 lead in the bottom half of the inning.
After Martin Prado and Jason Heyward singled and advanced on Nolasco's balk, McCann's RBI groundout made it 1-1.
Dan Uggla walked to load the bases before Juan Francisco 's liner scored Heyward from third and Uggla from second to put the Braves up 3-1.
Nolasco, who made 18 of his 34 pitches for balls and had a mound visit from pitching coach Randy St. Claire in the first, dropped to 0-3 with an 8.79 ERA in three starts against Atlanta this season.
After McCann's homer, Nolasco escaped a bases-loaded jam in the third by striking out Medlen.
"Your team gives you a 1-0 lead and to come in and give up three, it sucks all the energy out of the team right off the bat," Nolasco said. "It's not what you're looking to do as a starting pitcher."
Rookie Tyler Pastornicky hit his first career pinch-hit homer and his second this year off Dan Jennings to make it 5-1 in the sixth. After second baseman Emilio Bonifacio 's fielding error, Heyward followed with an RBI single for a 6-1 lead.
Atlanta added a run in the eighth. McCann scored from second when Freddie Freeman singled off Ryan Webb and left fielder Greg Dobbs made a fielding error.
Miami has lost two straight and 10 of 13.
Cory Gearrin , Chad Durbin , Eric O'Flaherty and Jair Jurrjens combined to allow the Marlins three hits and no walks with two strikeouts in the last four innings. Since July 3, Atlanta's bullpen has a 1.92 ERA over a 24-game span.
Medlen, who made his 19th career start, was 1-1 with a 2.48 ERA in 38 relief appearances this season. He won as a starter for the first time since July 7, 2010, at Philadelphia.
"I love the mound presence," Gonzalez said. "I love seeing him getting the ball back on the rubber, and he says, `Here it is. Hit it.' Murphy hits a homer on the (fifth) pitch of the game and it doesn't even bother him."
The Braves have won 10 of 12 at Turner Field.
Notes: Francisco went 3-for-3 with an intentional walk. ... In the third, Freeman singled and stole his first base since July 30, 2011, also against the Marlins. ... Atlanta RHP Tommy Hanson was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained lower back. Gearrin was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett to take his place on the roster. ... Miami traded RHP Edward Mujica to St. Louis for minor league 3B Zack Cox and dealt 1B Gaby Sanchez and a minor league pitcher to Pittsburgh for OF Gorkys Hernandez and a draft pick. ... Atlanta LHP Paul Maholm will join his new team Wednesday and will likely start Saturday against Houston. ... OF Reed Johnson was in uniform one night after getting traded with Maholm from the Cubs. To make room Johnson, the Braves optioned OF Jose Constanza to Gwinnett.