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MIA@ATL: Alvarez holds Braves to three in Miami debut

Working through a three-game series with the Marlins for the second time in two weeks, the Braves are hoping to avoid a nasty case of deja vu that could send them stumbling into the All-Star break.

After rolling to an 11-3 victory in the first game of last week's series in Atlanta, the Braves bats went nearly quiet as they dropped the final two contests, including a 4-3 loss on the Fourth of July, in which starters Julio Teheran and Henderson Alvarez pitched to a draw through five innings, before Miami broke through against closer Craig Kimbrel for the game-winning run in the ninth.

Teheran and Alvarez meet again for an immediate rematch on Tuesday night, and the Marlins will take inventory on the greenest member of their rotation in the process.

Alvarez took a no-decision in his long-delayed Marlins debut. After being acquired from the Blue Jays in November, he spent the first three months of the season on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. The 23-year-old right-hander allowed three runs on four hits in the first inning before settling down to retire 11 Braves hitters in a row.

"I felt like my command wasn't there in the first inning," Alvarez said through a translator after Thursday's game. "After that, I was able to get into the zone."

Alvarez needed just 68 pitches to get through 15 outs, an achievement in efficiency that stood in sharp contrast to Teheran's 104 pitches over five innings. The Braves' right-hander had to work for his seven strikeouts, while allowing three runs on six hits and a pair of walks against a patient Marlins lineup.

"They were swinging, and it was always a foul ball," Teheran said after his outing. "At the end, I was feeling like I wasn't commanding my breaking ball, so they were just sitting on my fastball and my two-seam."

The Braves may be able to take solace in Teheran's aversion to repeat performances -- they have lost consecutive Teheran starts on only one occasion this season.

Braves: McCann named NL Co-Player of Week
Not even the first no-hitter of 2013 could completely outshine the week that Brian McCann had at the plate.

McCann and Reds pitcher Homer Bailey were named the NL Co-Players of the Week on Monday afternoon, after Bailey no-hit the Giants last Tuesday and McCann hit a league-best .600 with 15 hits over his team's six games last week. McCann's hot streak can be traced as far back as June 23, at which point the Braves catcher had not recorded a hit in back-to-back games in nearly three weeks.

Since then, McCann is hitting .458 with three home runs and 11 RBIs. His 0-for-5 night on Monday snapped an eight-game hitting streak.

Marlins: Hechavarria keeps hitting
Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria extended his hitting streak to eight games on Monday night with a single in the fifth inning, and he ended up with a 2-for-6 night at the plate.

The typically light-hitting shortstop entered Monday's game batting .298 since June 5 with nine RBIs and nine multihit games, raising his average to .225. He has been especially hot as of late, batting .359 (14-for-38) in his past 10 contests.

"His swing is good," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "It is fun to see him go up there and get some hits, because I know each one of those hits that he gets is a big boost for his confidence."

• Kevin Slowey made his case to permanently take Ricky Nolasco's place in the rotation with five strong innings on Monday night. Slowey started 13 games for the Marlins before moving to a long relief role to make room for Nathan Eovaldi in the rotation, but the departure of Nolasco via trade brought the 29-year-old right-hander back into the rotation. Slowey exited a scoreless ballgame after 69 pitches, allowing four hits and a walk.

Worth noting

• The roof of Marlins Park was left open on Monday night for the 13th time in the team's 43 home games this season, but mid-game inclement weather led to its closing in the bottom of the seventh. The Marlins have not won with the roof open this year.

• Teheran is still searching for his first win against an NL East opponent. In five starts against division foes this season, Teheran is 0-1 with a 3.94 ERA. Comments