PHILADELPHIA (CBSMiami) – Slugger Giancarlo Stanton could make his return to the starting lineup on Friday as the Miami Marlins look to keep their flickering postseason hopes alive when they open a three-game road series versus the Philadelphia Phillies.
Stanton has received limited duty since being activated off the disabled list on September 6th, following a near-month absence due to a Grade 3 left groin strain.
Miami flexed its offensive muscle by recording seven runs in each contest of its three-game series with Atlanta, improving to 5-2 in its last seven to reside four games out in the second wild-card spot with 16 to play.
Marcell Ozuna, who belted a three-run shot for his career high-tying 23rd homer in Wednesday’s 7-5 triumph, is 16-for-52 versus the Phillies this season and is batting .318 against them in his career.
Philadelphia suffered its fifth loss in seven outings in embarrassing fashion, permitting five homers in Thursday’s 15-2 rout by Keystone State-rival Pittsburgh. All-Star Odubel Herrera is 5-for-9 with two doubles in his last three games overall, but just 4-for-17 with five strikeouts against Friday starter Tom Koehler.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins Tom Koehler (9-11, 3.97 ERA) vs. Phillies Adam Morgan (2-10, 5.73)
Koehler has split six decisions with a 2.80 ERA in his last 10 starts, starting with an eight-inning performance in a 9-3 win at Philadelphia on July 21. The 30-year-old kept the ball in the park in his next three outings before surrendering eight homers in his next six games – including three in five innings on Saturday in a 5-0 setback to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Koehler owns a 2-1 mark with a 1.29 ERA in four starts against the Phillies this season.
Morgan has answered a gaudy 6.62 ERA in his initial 15 appearances with a 3.64 ERA in his last five starts. The 26-year-old managed just a 1-3 mark in the latter stretch, with a hard-luck 3-2 loss to Washington on Sunday the result after he yielded just two runs on three hits in six innings. Morgan’s lone win in that run was a 4-3 victory over Miami on Sept. 6, as he permitted just one run on five hits in six frames.
1. Miami SS Adeiny Hechavarria is mired in a 1-for-14 stretch, but is 16-for-48 with five doubles against Philadelphia this season.
2. Phillies 2B Cesar Hernandez has hit safely in nine of his last 11 contests and is batting .344 with six runs scored in 16 games versus the Marlins in 2016.
3. Miami 3B Martin Prado is 18-for-59 against Philadelphia this season, but 0-for-6 versus Morgan in his career.
PREDICTION: Marlins 7, Phillies 1
By SportsDirect Inc.