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STL@NYM: Lyons fans seven over six strong frames

ATLANTA -- When Gavin Floyd makes his first Major League start since undergoing Tommy John surgery last May, there will be no adjustment period. The Braves need the right-hander to deliver against the defending National League champions.

Starting in place of right-hander Ervin Santana, who will skip a start due to a bruise on his right hand near his thumb, Floyd aims to help Atlanta snap a seven-game losing streak and even the series against St. Louis on Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals aim to beat Floyd to achieve only their second three-game winning streak of the season. Although Floyd's role has yet to be determined, his start will likely be the first of several spot starts out of Atlanta's bullpen moving forward.

"There's no expectation," Floyd said. "They told me [Sunday] that I'm going to be starting Tuesday, and I'm excited about that. I'm excited to get back out there and pitch again and have a second chance to pitch. Just focusing on that, and after that, whatever happens will be dealt with."

Given the way the Braves' starting rotation has pitched this season, Atlanta is now dealing with an inexplicable surplus of starting pitching thought unimaginable when Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy were both lost for the season during Spring Training.

Braves starters lead the Majors with a 2.50 ERA, ranking just ahead of the Cardinals rotation's 2.72 ERA this season.

"When I knew I was getting close, and I was seeing that everyone's throwing really well that's in the starting rotation, I kind of was curious what they were going to do," Floyd said. "I kind of wanted to be prepared for whatever they were going to say."

St. Louis will start lefty Tyler Lyons, who could probably give Floyd a pointer or two when it comes to managing a dual role as a reliever and spot starter.

Lyons has given up a combined six earned runs in two starts, and pitched two scoreless frames of relief when Cardinals manager Mike Matheny decided to have the left-hander skip his most recent start. So far, Matheny thinks Lyons has done "a nice job" this season.

"Ah, it's not a big deal," Lyons said of switching between the starting rotation and the bullpen. "I mean, it's a little different mindset from day to day, but in the end, it's all about just making pitches. It changes a little bit, but in the grand scheme of things, it's literally the same thing."

Cardinals: Molina batting second
• Catcher Yadier Molina batted second for the second straight game on Monday night, a move St. Louis manager Mike Matheny used to spark the lineup. Molina drove in the game-winning run in Sunday's 5-4 win over the Cubs from the No. 2 spot.

"I don't see this lasting real long, but right now we're in a necessity situation," Matheny said of batting Molina second. "We're trying to get him up there. He and [Matt Adams] are two guys who consistently are taking real good at-bats -- [Matt] Holliday, too, for the most part. If we can throw them up there as many times as we can get them, I think we're helping our chances."

• Peter Bourjos snapped out of an 0-for-19 slump with a leadoff single in the top of the fifth on Monday night.

He recorded another hit in the sixth, bringing home Allen Craig on an RBI single and finished 2-for-4. It was his third multi-hit game of the season and his first since recording three hits on April 8.

Bourjos entered Monday batting .034 (1-for-29) in road games this season.

Braves: Gonzalez shakes up lineup
When Atlanta announced its starting lineup on Monday night, starter Aaron Harang was batting eighth and Ramiro Pena occupied the ninth spot among several other changes. This marks the ninth time Gonzalez has batted the pitcher eighth.

Gonzalez asked, "Why not?" The Braves entered Monday 6-2 when they have batted the pitcher eighth under Gonzalez, but lost the ninth time they did it in a 4-3 defeat at the hands of the Cardinals.

"We've lost six in a row, you've got to juggle things up a little bit," said Justin Upton before Monday's loss. "Wherever you've got to hit, you've got to hit."

Worth noting
• Justin Upton is 1-for-15 with 11 strikeouts during the current homestand.

• The Braves are batting .118 (6-for-51) with runners in scoring position during their current seven-game losing streak.

• Matt Carpenter finished 2-for-4 with a run and two RBIs on Monday night after entering the game with a career .083 (1-for-12) clip at Turner Field. Comments