Every time he takes the mound now, they expect a win.
The Braves go for a 21st straight victory in a start by Medlen in Wednesday night's series finale in Miami.
Atlanta's four-game winning streak was snapped Tuesday with a 4-3, 10-inning loss. The Braves (85-64), whose magic number to clinch at least a wild-card spot is seven, rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the ninth on an RBI single by Dan Uggla and a two-run double by Brian McCann . But Jose Reyes ended it an inning later with a two-out RBI single.
Reyes finished with three hits and is 13 for 23 in his last five games, with Miami (66-83) winning three. It had won four of its previous 14 contests.
Atlanta lost to the Marlins for only the fourth time in 14 meetings, but seems to have a good chance of taking the finale behind Medlen (8-1, 1.62 ERA).
Since entering the rotation July 31, when he gave up a run over five innings in a 7-1 win over Miami, Medlen is 7-0 with a 0.86 ERA in nine starts, yielding one or zero runs eight times. He gave up two in an 11-3 win over the New York Mets on Sept. 8.
The right-hander followed up that outing by holding Washington to a run and five hits while striking out a career-high 13 in seven innings Friday. Atlanta scored in the bottom of the ninth to walk off with a 2-1 victory.
That marked the Braves' 20th straight win when Medlen is the starter, already a franchise record and the longest streak in the majors since the New York Yankees won 20 consecutive starts by Roger Clemens in 2001. The last streak longer than 20 came from 1950-53, when the Yankees won 22 straight starts by Hall of Famer Whitey Ford .
Medlen's streak dates to May 29, 2010, and the Braves picked up two wins over the Marlins behind him in July 2010."If we keep on winning when I'm on the mound, then keep running me out there," said Medlen, who was sidelined most of last year after elbow surgery. "It's just worked out that way. I don't know what it is."
While wins have been automatic for Atlanta in Medlen's starts, the Marlins have not enjoyed the same success behind Josh Johnson (8-12, 3.81) - despite his best efforts.
Johnson is 1-5 in his last seven outings despite yielding three runs or fewer six times. He took a no-hitter into the sixth inning Wednesday at Philadelphia before allowing three runs and four hits over the next two frames in a 3-1 loss."It's been that way all year," the righty said.
It's been the same story for Johnson against Atlanta.
He has a 1.23 ERA with 60 strikeouts over 44 innings in his last seven starts in the series, but is 2-2. He gave up two runs in 7 2-3 innings of a 2-1 loss to the Braves on June 6, and one hit over six shutout innings in a 2-1 victory July 23.
McCann, who was back in the lineup Tuesday after missing two starts with right hamstring tendinitis, is 6 for 15 with a pair of doubles against Johnson since 2010.
Jason Heyward , who is hitting .339 with four homers and 15 runs in the season series, hasn't fared as well, going 2 for 12 in his career.
|September 18, 2012||Paul Janish||Day-to-Day||Shoulder|
|September 15, 2012||Brian McCann||Day-to-Day||Left game - right hamstring tendinitis|
|August 25, 2012||Ben Sheets||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|August 25, 2012||Ben Sheets||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|August 10, 2012||Chipper Jones||Day-to-Day||Back tightness|
|August 01, 2012||Jair Jurrjens||15-Day DL||Strained right groin|
|September 18, 2012||Giancarlo Stanton||Day-to-Day||Strained right oblique|
|September 14, 2012||Carlos Lee||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained neck|
|September 04, 2012||Heath Bell||Day-to-Day||Sore left foot|
|August 22, 2012||Emilio Bonifacio||60-Day DL||Sprained right knee|
|August 13, 2012||Nick Green||15-Day DL||Sprained left thumb|
|August 04, 2012||Emilio Bonifacio||15-Day DL||Sprained left thumb|
MIAMI (AP) -- Kris Medlen and Chipper Jones found themselves linked in baseball's record books with Whitey Ford and Lou Gehrig .
More importantly to the Atlanta Braves , they just kept rolling along.
Medlen pitched eight innings of four-hit ball and the Braves won his start for the 21st straight time, beating the Miami Marlins 3-0 on Wednesday night. Jones went 1 for 4 in his final South Florida appearance, getting hit No. 2,721 to tie Gehrig for 58th on baseball's career list.
"That's the Iron Horse, man," Jones said. "Just really honored to have as many hits in my career as one of the greatest in the game. Now we've got to work on passing him."
Atlanta, closing in on securing at least an NL wild-card spot, has won 12 of its last 17 games. The Braves picked up a half-game on Washington in the NL East race, closing within five games after the Nationals split a doubleheader with the Los Angeles Dodgers .
The Marlins gave Jones a fly-fishing rod and a slew of accessories to commemorate his last game in Miami. They won't have to worry about him anymore, but Medlen might be a problem for years to come.
Medlen (9-1) lost the first two starts of his career in 2009. He hasn't taken a loss in any of his 26 starts since, with the Braves prevailing in the last 21 of those - making them the first team since the New York Yankees to have such a streak, according to STATS LLC. The Yankees won 22 straight times when Ford started from 1950 through 1953, a span interrupted by his service during the Korean War.
Medlen tried to dismiss any comparison with the Hall of Famer.
" Whitey Ford ? Pfft. Let's go. Come on. Don't even say it," Medlen said.
Medlen struck out six and walked one while lowering his ERA from 1.62 to 1.51. Rob Brantly doubled for Miami, which was shut out for the 16th time this season.
"Medlen threw the crap out of the ball," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "We pitched well, but Medlen pitched better. I think this kid is, `Wow.' He put on a show out there."
The first of Medlen's 10 starts this season was against Miami on July 31, when he allowed one run over five innings and the Braves picked up a 7-1 victory. Little did anyone know then how the next few weeks would go - he's now 8-0 with a 0.76 ERA as a starter, as opposed to his 2.48 ERA in 54 1-3 innings in 38 relief appearances to start the season.
Medlen threw 99 pitches Wednesday, 66 for strikes.
"I thought he was good. I thought he was really good," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Commanded the strike zone, both sides of the plate. We played some good (defense) behind him. ... That's a byproduct of Medlen pounding the strike zone, getting the ball, throwing the ball over and keeping guys on their toes."
Atlanta also made sure he had the lead before even taking the mound. Michael Bourn led off the game with a double and scored two batters later on Jason Heyward 's sacrifice fly to center off Josh Johnson , whose woes continued.
Johnson (8-13) gave up five hits, three walks and three runs in six innings, striking out five. The Marlins have now lost seven of his last eight starts.
"First three innings it was all over the place, whether it was fouling balls off and getting deep into counts or getting a couple guys 0-2, 1-2 and then just letting them back in," Johnson said. "You can't do that."
Dan Uggla scored in the second after drawing his NL-leading 89th walk, stealing second and coming around on Jose Constanza 's single to center. The lead went to 3-0 in the third when Atlanta made Johnson pay for another walk - a leadoff pass to Martin Prado turned into a run on Freddie Freeman 's sacrifice fly.
Medlen worked his way out of a little trouble in the fifth. Donovan Solano singled and went to third when Medlen's one-out pickoff throw sailed past first base. But Medlen got Bryan Petersen to pop up into short center field - Uggla, the second baseman, had his throw home go up the third-base line, but Solano was held anyway - and then Gorkys Hernandez grounded to shortstop to end the inning.
Jones got an ovation from the crowd before his last at-bat in Miami, a groundout in the eighth. He tipped his helmet in acknowledgment, though his night wasn't totally perfect.
He apparently forgot how many outs there were in the third, getting tagged out on a 7-4-3 relay by the Marlins to end the inning.
"That happens with age," Guillen said.
NOTES: Jones has played more games (244) and collected more home runs (40), RBIs (165), hits (258), doubles (47) and walks (140) than any other opponent has against the Marlins. ... The Marlins and Braves both have Thursday off. Miami plans to pitch RHP Jacob Turner in New York on Friday against LHP Jonathon Niese , while Atlanta is expected to start RHP Tommy Hanson in Philadelphia on Friday against RHP Kyle Kendrick . ... Braves SS Paul Janish , who dislocated his left shoulder on Tuesday night, returned to Atlanta for evaluation. It's unknown if he could be back before the end of the regular season.