Ervin Santana has done his part to keep the Atlanta Braves' shaky playoff hopes alive, and the 10-year veteran right-hander takes the mound Monday against the Pittsburgh Pirates, looking to kick off Atlanta's seven-game road trip with his sixth consecutive victory. The Braves and Pirates begin the three-game set tied in the standings, 1½ games behind San Francisco for the final National League wild-card spot, but the teams are moving in opposite directions. Atlanta capped an impressive sweep of Oakland with a 4-3 victory Sunday night, while Pittsburgh lost 6-5 in 11 innings to Washington for its fifth consecutive defeat.Both teams feature left fielders who ride eight-game hitting streaks into the series opener. Travis Snider is doing his part to help a Pittsburgh offense suffering from the absence of Andrew McCutchen, hitting .400 during his current eight-game hitting streak with three homers and seven RBIs. Atlanta's Justin Upton also has three homers during his streak, driving in nine runs while hitting .360. TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, SportSouth (Atlanta), ROOT Sports (Pittsburgh) PITCHING MATCHUP: Braves RH Ervin Santana (12-6, 3.66 ERA) vs. Pirates RH Vance Worley (5-2, 2.51)Santana beat the Dodgers on Wednesday, giving up two runs with nine strikeouts in six innings to improve to 7-1 in his past nine starts. He has struck out 41 in 40 innings - including back-to-back double-digit strikeout efforts - in his past six outings, posting a 2.70 ERA by allowing only 12 earned runs. Santana, who makes his 292nd career appearance, has never faced Pittsburgh.Worley is 3-1 with a 1.62 ERA in his past five starts, but dropped his last outing Wednesday when he allowed five runs (three earned) in 5 1/3 innings at Detroit. He had surrendered two earned runs or less in five consecutive starts before the loss to the Tigers. Worley, who made 53 appearances with Philadelphia from 2010-12, is 1-2 with a 5.81 ERA in seven games (five starts) against Atlanta.WALK-OFFS1. Pittsburgh has the best home record in the NL at 39-24.2. The Braves have hit 12 homers in their past 10 games after hitting eight in their first 19 games following the All-Star break.3. The Pirates placed P Charlie Morton on the disabled list with right hip inflammation, recalling INF Brent Morel from Triple-A Indianapolis.PREDICTION: Braves 3, Pirates 2