(AP) — After a horrendous start to the season in other teams’ ballparks, the Miami Marlins are finding ways to win on the road.
They’ll try to continue that trend Tuesday night against the Philadelphia Phillies at a park that has been especially unwelcoming to the Marlins in recent seasons.
A 4-0 victory Monday gave the Marlins (38-38) their seventh road win in 10 games, and they’re 10-5 away from home since starting 3-15. Miami is also 9-26 in its last 35 at Citizens Bank Park.
Third baseman Casey McGehee went 2 for 5 with two doubles and two RBIs in the series opener to extend his road hitting streak to 14 games. He’s batting .435 with 10 RBIs in that stretch and providing the Marlins with strong protection for Giancarlo Stanton in the lineup.
“We’ve talked about it a lot, needing a guy to hit behind Stanton and give him some protection,” manager Mike Redmond told MLB’s official website. “As much protection as he possibly can get. And he’s done a great job. The chances when they’ve walked (Stanton), he’s come up big and got some big hits and won some games for us.”
Still, offensive struggles remain for both teams. While the Marlins have scored 13 runs in their last six games, the Phillies (34-41) have managed four runs during three straight losses.
Philadelphia is 16-22 at home and has been shut out seven times in the last 25 games there.
“I don’t have an explanation for that,” manager Ryne Sandberg said. “It needs to change. A night like this conducive for hitting, we need to do a better job at home.”
Ryan Howard has batted .159 over his last 11 home games while Chase Utley is 2 for 22 in his past six. Ben Revere is 1 for 15 in his last five overall.
Cody Asche, however, collected three hits Monday and is batting .410 in his last 10 games.
Both teams will be relying on rookie starting pitchers to hold down those struggling offenses, with Miami’s Andrew Heaney trying to build on a promising first career start.
The left-hander was impressive despite suffering a 1-0 loss to the New York Mets on Thursday, allowing a run and four hits in six innings, including a home run to David Wright in the first.
“Heaney did a nice job. He gave us a chance, kept us in the game,” Redmond said. “One pitch to a really good hitter that he hit for a home run, and that was it. Other than that, he executed his pitches.”
He’ll be opposed by David Buchanan, who is beginning to find a groove as he continues to fill Cliff Lee’s spot in the rotation.
Buchanan (3-3, 4.95) is coming off his strongest start of the season, surrendering a run and four hits in 7 2-3 innings of a 4-1 victory at St. Louis on Thursday. The right-hander has won two straight outings.
“I think he rose to the occasion,” Sandberg said. “He has that kind of makeup and that kind of character. He seems to be showing improvement and he seems to be adjusting as he’s gone along. It looks like he’s growing out there.”
Miami shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria has missed three games with a sore right elbow but is expected back Tuesday.
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