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MIA@COL: Nicasio fans nine, holds Marlins to two hits

With the Trade Deadline fast approaching, the Braves continue to take stock of their starting rotation.

While Atlanta's starters combined to allow just three runs over 20 innings pitched in a three-game sweep of the Cardinals over the weekend, the starter didn't have as much success on Monday. Brandon Beachy got knocked around in his first start back from Tommy John surgery, allowing seven runs in just 3 2/3 innings.

Left-hander Alex Wood will give the Braves a good indication whether they need to continue looking for starting pitching. He'll get the nod on Tuesday against the Rockies at Turner Field in just the third start of his career.

"We've continued to have a lot of discussions on a lot of different fronts," Braves general manager Frank Wren said. "It's like anything else, you continue to knock on doors and make calls until you feel like you've exhausted all possibilities to improve your team."

Wood is still looking for his first career win, going 0-2 with a 3.42 ERA in 17 games since being promoted in late May.

He was a little rusty last Thursday against the Mets, surrendering four runs on eight hits -- all singles -- in 4 1/3 innings for a no-decision.

Meanwhile, Juan Nicasio will be on the hill for the Rockies. The right-hander has been brilliant since being recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs, posting a 0.47 ERA in three starts.

With some extra confidence and zip on his fastball, Nicasio has allowed just one run on eight hits in 19 innings of work during that stretch. He's also struck out 15 batters.

In his previous outing against the Marlins, Nicasio allowed just two hits in seven innings of work for the no-decision. He also struck out a season-high nine and walked only one.

"I was not looking for the strikeout. I tried to throw more strikes, locate the fastball and try to go deep in the game," Nicasio said after the start.

Rockies: Culberson called up
• Colorado called up utility man Charlie Culberson from Triple-A Colorado Springs on Monday and optioned struggling first baseman Jordan Pacheco.

Culberson was obtained from the Giants last year for second baseman Marco Scutaro. While Culberson was drafted as an infielder, he has been playing in the outfield recently to increase his versatility.

He was hitting .310 with eight home runs, 27 doubles and eight triples for Colorado Springs this season.

Braves: Downs newest addition
• Atlanta's bullpen depth increased on Monday with the addition of left-hander Scott Downs. He was acquired from the Angels in exchange for Minor League right-hander Cory Rasmus.

"We were excited [Sunday] night when we saw this having a chance," Wren said. "You almost pinch yourself a little bit, because it's still a couple days before the deadline and you've got a chance to get a key piece, at least a key piece for us. Now we can look to see if we can perfect some other areas."

Downs compiled a 1.84 ERA in 43 appearances for the Angels this season. He got the win in Monday night's game, allowing just one hit in 1 1/3 innings.

Worth noting
• Braves third baseman Chris Johnson continued to swing a hot bat in Monday's game against the Rockies, tallying two hits to improve his National League-best batting average to .339.

• In three career starts against the Braves, Nicasio is 0-2 with a 7.53 ERA.

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