Chen Looks To Continue Strong Start As Marlins Begin Series In Philly

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PHILADELPHIA (CBSMiami/SportsDirect) – The Miami Marlins may be getting their money’s worth out of a free agent pitcher, just a year later than they anticipated.

Wei-Yin Chen is in his second season of a five-year, $80 million deal, making the veteran left-hander the highest-paid pitcher on the Marlins.

With his value to the team underscored by being removed from a potential no-hit bid in his last outing, Chen will be on the mound Tuesday as the Marlins pay a visit to Citizens Bank Park to open a three-game series versus the Philadelphia Phillies.

Chen tossed seven no-hit innings on 100 pitches at Seattle before manager Don Mattingly gave him the hook last Tuesday, citing his continuing recovery from an ailing ulnar collateral ligament.

Giancarlo Stanton makes a pretty penny too on the heels of signing a 13-year, $325 million deal in 2015, and the slugger has gotten healthy of late with an RBI single in Sunday’s 7-3 victory over San Diego to improve to 9-for-17 with four homers, seven RBIs and five runs scored during his four-game hitting streak.

While Miami has won two in a row, Cesar Hernandez (club-best four homers) helped Philadelphia double that total by igniting a back-to-back-to-back homer stretch to highlight a sweep of Atlanta over the weekend.

The 26-year-old Venezuelan went 7-for-13 with five runs scored against the Braves and joins Freddy Galvis in going 5-for-12 in his career versus Chen.

TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, FSN Florida (Miami), CSN Philadelphia

PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins LH Wei-Yin Chen (2-0, 3.94 ERA) vs. Phillies RH Vince Velasquez (0-2, 7.20)

Chen yielded four runs on 11 hits in two of three outings last season versus Philadelphia en route to posting an 0-2 mark against the division rival.

The veteran has stumbled in his last three games versus the Phillies on the heels of a brilliant performance on June 15, 2015, when he scattered four hits and struck out nine over eight scoreless innings as a member of the Baltimore Orioles.

Chen will need to remain wary of Daniel Nava, who has hit safely in seven of his last nine games overall and is 7-for-17 with a home run and three RBIs versus the hurler.

Velasquez pitched well in his last outing before running into trouble late as he saw his scoreless outing go by the boards with a three-run homer by Jay Bruce in the sixth.

The 24-year-old allowed just those three runs on five hits in six innings before avoiding a third straight loss after Philadelphia rallied to tie the score.

Velasquez owns a 1-0 mark to go along with a 2.50 ERA in three career starts versus Miami and struck out 20 batters in 18 innings – including Stanton on three occasions in six at-bats.

WALK-OFFS

  1. Philadelphia and Miami both sport above .500 records against National League East foes, with the former going 8-7 while the latter is 7-5.
  2. Marlins OF Marcell Ozuna, who leads the team with 21 RBIs in 2017, had 18 hits in 17 meetings with the Phillies last season.
  3. Philadelphia 3B Maikel Franco has collected seven of his team-leading 16 RBIs in his last five games.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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