Jarred Cosart is coming off one of the best starting performances by a Marlins pitcher all season. The right-hander beat the Angels on Monday, giving up one run in 7 2/3 innings.
While Cosart attempts an encore on Saturday night at Turner Field, Aaron Harang leads an Atlanta ballclub that is one game back of the Cardinals for the second National League Wild Card spot and six back of the Nationals for the NL East lead. The Marlins are six games behind in the Wild Card race.
"You see a guy with a lot of confidence," Miami manager Mike Redmond said. "You see a guy who really, I think, is enjoying pitching in some meaningful games. It's good to see him turn that focus and adrenaline into something really positive. It was fun to watch him carve through the Angels, who really have an outstanding lineup. To see him fired up, and the way he competed was outstanding. This guy has a chance to be really good for us."
Acquired from the Astros on July 31, Cosart is 2-1 with a 2.08 ERA in four starts since joining the Marlins. One reason he's been successful is some pointers picked up from pitching coach Chuck Hernandez.
Hernandez had some history with Cosart when both were in the Phillies' system. Cosart was a 38th-round Draft pick in 2008 with Philadelphia, and he spent half a season with Hernandez in the instructional league. After the trade with Houston, Hernandez recommended a few mechanical tweaks with Cosart's upper half.
"He's showed me a few things mechanically that really helped me, I think, get back in the strike zone on more of a consistent basis," Cosart said. "Just little stuff with my upper half, staying compact and stuff like that. Just keeping things simple. I think that did wonders for me, and not worrying too much."
Keeping things simple is the approach Hernandez recommended.
"Chuck remembered how I threw when I was 18, 19," Cosart said. "It was just bringing back that simplicity. The longer you spend in the game, it has been the best thing for me, getting back to being simple. Pitching my game, and pitching how I need to pitch, and not [being] anybody else -- not a robot, not a computer or anything like that. Hopefully we can work on little things like that going forward and build a finished product."
Braves: Bonifacio providing club versatility
Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez has enjoyed having Emilio Bonifacio on his club since the Braves acquired him from the Cubs on July 31. Bonifacio has already played shortstop, second base and all three outfield positions in less than a month on Atlanta's roster.
"He's one of those guys who is a nice piece to have. If you match him up right and put him in position to be successful, he can really be good," Gonzalez said. "I think he's a guy like Martin Prado. You can put him at second base, in center, at third or run him at shortstop."
Given the struggles of B.J. Upton at the plate, many have suggested that Bonifacio should assume full-time starting duties in center field. Gonzalez is willing to give Bonifacio a start here and there, but he does not want to overwork the utility man.
"I don't want to run him into the ground. He's one of those guys, if you play him a couple times a week and you match him up with the right guy, he's going to be successful," Gonzalez said. "If you run him in there every single day against everybody, he's not going to be successful. When he doesn't play, he's ready to play and he's prepared. He loves talking baseball."
Marlins: Reverting back to regular lineup
Rather than tinker with the unknown, manager Mike Redmond is reverting back to the lineup that put his team in National League Wild Card contention.
Casey McGehee was moved back to the cleanup spot on Friday night in the series opener at the Braves. Marcell Ozuna got the nod in the No. 4 spot for all three games in the series at the Angels.
McGehee has struggled driving in runs since the All-Star break, but he's also been an important part of the lineup anchoring the spot behind Giancarlo Stanton.
"Here we are," Redmond said. "We've got to win games, and we've won a lot of games with this lineup. Guys have to continue to do their jobs and focus on having good at-bats. We know we can score runs with this lineup. Here we are, so we'll go out there and throw it all out there and see what happens. I like this lineup."
• Henderson Alvarez remains lined up to start on Monday against the Mets, but the club has yet to announce who will get the nod on Tuesday at Marlins Park. It's a decision between Brad Penny or Brad Hand. A decision could be made as early as Saturday.
• Freddie Freeman is batting .056 (3-for-54) against Miami in 2014.
Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.