Being on the road may provide the Atlanta Braves what they need to maintain sole possession of the NL East lead. A matchup with the Arizona Diamondbacks would appear to help as well.
Ervin Santana looks to build on an improved outing as the Braves try to earn a fifth consecutive victory over the Diamondbacks and season-high fifth straight on the road Saturday night.Atlanta (32-27) stayed one game ahead of Washington and Miami in the division with a 5-2 victory in Friday's opener to a seven-game trip. Craig Kimbrel became the club's all-time saves leader, and Jason Heyward went 3 for 4 with a homer and three RBIs while extending his hitting streak to 10 games.After getting swept in two games against Seattle, the Braves earned their 13th win in 17 meetings with Arizona (26-37). The Diamondbacks dropped one percentage point behind the Chicago Cubs for the NL's worst record.Arizona had five hits after totaling 32 runs and 49 hits in a three-game sweep at Colorado.Santana (5-2, 4.10 ERA) will try to keep Arizona in last place in the NL by earning a second win in as many starts. The right-hander gave up three runs in six innings in a 9-5 victory at Miami last Saturday after going 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in his prior three outings."Getting him back to his winning ways was obviously a good thing," manager Fredi Gonzalez told the team's official website.Santana is 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA in two starts against the Diamondbacks and pitched a one-hitter in his most recent matchup, a 2-0 win for the Los Angeles Angels on June 16, 2012.His counterpart Saturday, Wade Miley, is 0-3 with a 4.91 ERA in his last four starts. The left-hander gave up four homers over six innings in a 4-3 loss to Cincinnati on Sunday."I feel like I am throwing the ball well right now, but things aren't going my way," he said. "Just got to keep grinding through it."Miley (3-6, 4.85) has received eight runs of support in his last four games and has needed much more help in his two starts against Atlanta, going 0-2 with an 11.00 ERA. He gave up seven runs in five innings in his lone matchup last year, a 10-1 drubbing at Chase Field on May 13.Miley is 0-4 with a 6.90 ERA in his last five home starts.Heyward, batting .372 with three homers during his hit streak, is 12 for 30 (.400) in his last seven games against Arizona and doubled in one of his two at-bats against Miley. Chris Johnson is 3 for 5 with a home run and Justin Upton is 2 for 3 with a homer when facing him.The Braves might get B.J. Upton back after he missed Friday's series opener because he was delayed getting back from the birth of his second child in Florida on Thursday.Atlanta hasn't won five in a row on the road since a six-game run Aug. 2-7.