(AP) — The Miami Marlins are struggling to score runs and now they are battling some injury woes.
New York Mets starter Jonathon Niese can relate to the part about not seeing his offense produce.
The Marlins have enjoyed success against left-handers this year as they face Niese in Sunday’s four-game series finale at home.
Miami (37-37) fell for the third time in four games with Saturday’s 4-0 defeat. The club has totaled four runs in that span and been shut out twice in this series.
“Right now we’re in a little bit of a spell where we’re not able to get the consecutive hits and get a little bit of a rally going, but we will,” manager Mike Redmond said.
Redmond won’t be able to pencil in second baseman Rafael Furcal, who left in the fourth inning with a left calf and hamstring injury after grounding out to end the third. Furcal, who missed the first 2 1/2 months of the season with hamstring and groin injuries, is headed back to the disabled list.
“I’m more disappointed for him – he’s been out for a long time,” Redmond told the Marlins’ official website. “He was looking forward to this opportunity with us to go out and play, and it just hasn’t happened for him.”
Derek Dietrich, the club’s opening day second baseman, is expected to be recalled from Triple-A New Orleans. Dietrich hit .242 in 41 games for the Marlins this year.
Miami’s infield was already missing shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, who was scratched Saturday with soreness in his elbow on his throwing arm. He could return Sunday.
The Marlins are 11-5 against left-handed starters as they face Niese (3-4, 2.67 ERA) for the second time after he pitched seven scoreless innings against them May 5 in a 4-3 loss. He is 0-2 with a 3.25 ERA in five road starts against them.
Niese has one of baseball’s poorer run support averages at 3.16. He is winless in his last five starts, going 0-1 with a 2.62 ERA as the Mets (34-41) have provided him with eight runs of total support.
Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton is 0 for 3 versus Niese this year after entering the season 7 for 18 with two homers off the southpaw. Stanton has 13 homers at home – tied for the most in the majors – but has none in six 2014 games in Miami against New York.
New York star David Wright is 10 for 23 on this seven-game trip, including 6 for 11 with a homer in this series.
“This is a tough place to hit here, like our park,” manager Terry Collins said. “But all he’s trying to do is put good swings on it. He’s worked on a few things in the last week to change his swing a little bit and it’s paid off.”
The Marlins will look to split this 10-game homestand behind rookie Anthony DeSclafani (1-1, 5.60), who will make his fourth career start and first against the Mets. The right-hander gave up four runs over 6 1-3 innings Tuesday and did not get a decision in a 6-5 win over the Chicago Cubs.
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