MIAMI (CBSMiami/SportsDirect) – Two teams with similar aspirations to claim the NL East crown will open a four game series Thursday night in Miami.
One of the biggest questions surrounding the New York Mets this spring was how to fit Michael Conforto into a crowded outfield, but he is pushing for more playing time.
Conforto led the charge as the Mets capped a three-game sweep of Philadelphia on Wednesday, finishing 2-for-4 with three runs scored in just his second start of the season.
Yoenis Cespedes followed up his three-homer night with two RBIs, as the Mets made the most of their six hits in running their winning streak to four games.
One night after left fielder Marcell Ozuna hit two homers against Atlanta, Miami right fielder Giancarlo Stanton recorded his 19th career multi-homer game and drove in four runs in a 5-4 setback Wednesday versus the Braves – just the Marlins’ second loss in the past six games.
Miami took two of three contests from the Mets in New York last weekend, scoring 17 runs in the three games.
Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto went 0-for-3, the first hitless performance of the season for the reigning National League Player of the Week.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, SNY (New York), FSN Florida (Miami)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Mets RH Robert Gsellman (0-1, 4.50 ERA) vs. Marlins LH Wei-Yin Chen (1-0, 1.50)
Gsellman lost to the Marlins in New York on Saturday in his first start of the season, allowing three runs on six hits in five innings with seven strikeouts.
The 23-year-old, who makes his 11th major-league start, went 4-2 with a 2.42 ERA in eight games (seven starts) as a rookie in 2016. Stanton went 3-for-3 against Gsellman last week.
Chen hopes to replicate the results of his last matchup with the Mets, in which he earned the victory in his season debut Friday by limiting New York to one run on seven hits with five strikeouts in six innings.
Looking to rediscover the form that produced three double-digit victory seasons in four years with Baltimore before going 5-5 with Miami last season, Chen threw 63 of his 86 pitches for strikes against New York.
He has won both his career starts against the Mets, posting a 1.38 ERA.
- The Marlins have averaged 6.8 runs in their four victories, and three runs in their four losses.
- New York 3B Jose Reyes finished 0-for-4 with two strikeouts Wednesday, dropping his average to .054 on the season.
- Miami hopes to activate 3B Martin Prado (strained right hamstring) from the disabled list during the four-game series.
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