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MIA@ATL: J. Upton launches a two-run homer to center

Justin Upton's red-hot August helped revive the Braves from a rough stretch during which they lost eight straight and 12 of 15, but they need more out of their left fielder if they are to snag one of the National League's two Wild Card spots.

Atlanta sits 1 1/2 games out of the NL Wild Card after being no-hit by Cole Hamels and the Philadelphia bullpen on Monday, but Kyle Kendrick's presence on the mound on Tuesday could be what keeps Upton's momentum going.

The younger Upton brother has hit .364 (8-for-22) with two homers and a 1.146 OPS in his career against the Phillies' right-hander. In August, Upton hit .291 (30-for-103) with seven homers, 28 RBIs (six of which were game-winning) and a .946 OPS.

If Kendrick can cool down Upton and keep handcuffing the Braves as Hamels and Co. did so efficiently on Monday, it will continue what has been a terrific run for the Phillies as of late considering their woes this season.

At 14-13, August was Philadelphia's first winning month since they went 1-0 in March by virtue of an Opening Day victory. The Phillies finished August on an 8-4 run for their first full month above .500 since September 2012.

If Philadelphia plans to play spoiler and finish this September above .500 as well, it will need a better performance from Kendrick, who has to pitch opposite rejuvenated Braves lefty Mike Minor at Turner Field.

Kendrick has compiled a 6.59 ERA in his past 10 starts, pitching beyond the sixth inning only twice during that span. He has also surrendered 11 home runs in that stretch, allowing the opposition to take him deep in eight starts.

The Braves are 51-19 when they homer, including their victory against Kendrick on July 20 when Chris Johnson went deep. Meanwhile, the Phillies are 7-11 in games during which Kendrick allows a long ball.

Braves: Minor turning season around
After compiling a 5.42 ERA and allowing 18 home runs in his first 17 starts, Atlanta decided to skip Minor's turn in the rotation. The move has paid dividends since then, as the left-hander has righted the ship.

Minor has recorded four consecutive quality starts, compiling a 2.22 ERA and pitching at least 6 2/3 innings in each turn. He has surrendered only one earned run in each of his past two, allowing only nine total baserunners in 14 2/3 innings.

"I do feel like I've turned the corner with pitches and hitting spots and attacking hitters," Minor said after his gem against the Mets on Aug. 28. "I do feel confident. I don't feel that little guy in the back of my head is saying, 'Don't give up the home run' anymore. I feel like I'm attacking guys and going right after them."

Phillies: Ruiz knows no-nos
The Phillies' combined no-hitter against the Braves on Monday afternoon marked the third no-no caught by Carlos Ruiz, Philadelphia's veteran backstop.

Ruiz was also behind the plate for Roy Halladay's two no-hitters in 2010. The first came on May 29, and the second was during Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Reds on Oct. 6.

Former Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek holds the record for most no-hitters caught at four.

Worth noting
• Atlanta's Jason Heyward has reached base safely via a hit or a walk in 84 of his past 98 games.

• Dating back to 2011, the Phillies have won four straight games on Labor Day.

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