Nathan Eovaldi's ERA reached its highest point this season in mid-June with the New York Yankees hovering around the .500 mark and looking very little like a potential playoff team.
Eovaldi hasn't lost since, and the Yankees are heading down the stretch in control of their own playoff destiny.
The right-hander looks to keep his unbeaten streak alive by leading visiting New York to a three-game sweep over the Atlanta Braves on Sunday.
Eovaldi (13-2, 4.00 ERA) had a 5.12 ERA after giving up a season-worst eight runs in less than an inning of a loss at Miami on June 16 as the Yankees fell to 34-30. He's gone 8-0 with a 2.93 ERA in 12 starts since that outing and is coming off his best performance of the season after allowing four hits in eight innings of the Yankees' 1-0 win over Houston on Monday.
"Just being able to use the (split-finger fastball), I feel like it's helped me out a lot," Eovaldi said. "At the beginning of the season, I didn't have as much confidence in it as I do now. I feel like I'm able to locate it when I'm behind in counts, which is pretty big for me."
Eovaldi has won his last six road starts for New York (71-57), which has a 4 1/2-game cushion atop the AL wild-card standings. It beat the Braves 3-1 on Saturday to remain 1 1/2 games behind Toronto in the East.
Five of the Yankees' six hits were doubles, with Brian McCann and Didi Gregorius driving in a run apiece.
Eovaldi is 2-2 with a 1.93 ERA in his last eight starts against the Braves (54-75), who are in danger of falling 22 games under .500 for the first time since finishing 65-97 in 1990.
Atlanta began a nine-game stretch at home with a 32-24 mark at Turner Field, but it has scored nine times while dropping four straight since beating Colorado on Monday to start the homestand.
That pales in comparison to the tragedy that took place there Saturday, though, when a fan died after falling from the upper deck to a lower level near where the Braves' family members sit.
Many of them were seen crying after the incident.
''That's terrible,'' losing pitcher Matt Wisler said. ''You never want to hear something like that. We're all in the dugout paying more attention to that than we were the game when it first happened.''
The Braves look to salvage the series finale with Julio Teheran (9-6, 4.29) on the hill. Teheran beat the Rockies 5-3 on Monday by pitching 7 1-3 solid innings to improve to 3-0 with a 2.73 ERA in five starts this month.
The right-hander settled down after giving up a solo homer in each of the first two innings.
''I wasn't afraid,'' Teheran said. ''That's part of the game, when you make a mistake that's how you pay in this league. I was concentrating. I was focused on making my pitches to the next hitter.''
Teheran is 7-1 with a 2.55 ERA in 13 home starts, and he'll face a Yankees lineup that again will be without Mark Teixeira because of a bruised right shin. Manager Joe Girardi hopes Teixeira will be back Monday when New York opens a three-game series at Boston.