It won't get much easier at Marlins Park. There, they will find the Braves, who have won 10 of their last 14 games and are 4-1 against the Marlins this season. The last time these two teams met, the Braves swept a three-game series in Miami from June 5-7.
It may not be easy, but at least the Marlins will roll out their best. Ace right-hander Josh Johnson will take the mound to begin the three-game series. He gave up four runs on five hits in 6 1/3 innings Wednesday against the Cubs and took the loss in the first game of the Marlins' losing streak. After the game, he said it was frustrating not to be able to build some consistency.
"That's what you've got to do, you've got to string together wins, and I just didn't come through for the team," Johnson said.
While the Braves have been hot recently, they ended their much-anticipated four-game weekend series against the Nationals with back-to-back losses. The Braves were unable to make up any ground on the Nationals and remain 3 1/2 games behind them in the National League East.
Third baseman Chipper Jones said it will be important for the Braves to not let the two losses that ended their series against the Nationals affect them as they go to Miami.
"We're right back to where we started," Jones said. "Now it's hopefully time to make up ground while we're playing in separate cities. We've got to go to Miami, not have a letdown and take care of business down there."
After a taxing weekend for their pitching staff that included a doubleheader Saturday, the Braves need left-hander Mike Minor to step up Monday. Minor has been inconsistent this season but has delivered back-to-back quality starts.
Braves: Case of the Mondays
The Braves are winless on Mondays this season, entering their game against the Marlins with an 0-11 record on Monday. The rest of the week, the Braves are 20 games over .500, at 52-32.
The Braves' struggles on Mondays have been inexplicable all season, but generally have started with their offense. They average just 1.55 runs on Mondays. They average 5.01 runs on all other days.
Third baseman Chipper Jones has moved near the top of plenty of all-time leader boards as he approaches the end of his career at the end of the season. The latest list up which he is poised to move is career extra-base hits by switch-hitters. Jones is two extra-base hits shy of Pete Rose for second place with 1,041. Hall of Famer Eddie Murray has the most among switch hitters with 1,099.
Marlins: Hanley likely to miss third straight game
Third baseman Hanley Ramirez missed the last two games of the Marlins' series against the Pirates with an infected right hand and manager Ozzie Guillen expects him to miss at least one more. Guillen said Ramirez will visit a doctor in Miami on Monday to get his hand checked.
Ramirez first injured his hand on July 8 when he hit a cooling fan at Busch Stadium. Gregg Dobbs has taken Ramirez's place in the lineup since the injury. Ramirez only played one inning in the Marlins' three-game series against the Pirates.
Ramirez is hitting .246 with 14 home runs this season.
Shortstop Jose Reyes carries a 10-game hitting streak into Monday's game against the Braves. Reyes extended his hitting streak with a single to lead off the Marlins 3-0 loss Sunday.
During the streak, Reyes is hitting .300. He has just one multihit game in that stretch.
This series will be Jones' first games in Marlins Park. He was injured and did not play in the Braves' only visit to Miami this season. Jones, a Florida native, hit .294 with 16 home runs in 121 games in Sun Life Stadium, the Marlins' old home.