MIAMI (CBSMiami/Gracenote) – After a month-long stretch of struggling baseball, the Miami Marlins are showing signs of turning their season around.
Miami hadn’t won a single series this month prior to last weekend – a feeling the Philadelphia Phillies know all too well.
The Marlins eye their first three-game winning streak since mid-April and look to send the visiting Phillies to their 10th consecutive series loss on Tuesday as the National League East rivals play the middle contest of their three-game series.
Edinson Volquez worked six strong innings against Philadelphia’s listless offense Monday to end a personal 16-start winless streak, sending the Marlins to their third victory in four contests but only their eighth in 26 games this month.
“Obviously, it’s been an awful month until this point. … But, at this point, you’ve got to move forward. … We’re playing better. We’re getting a little better pitching. Everything seems to be a little better,” Miami manager Don Mattingly told MLB.com.
The Phillies (17-32) took over the distinction of owning the worst record in the majors following their 23rd loss in 29 contests – a 4-1 setback on Monday in what was the seventh game in the last nine in which they scored two runs or fewer.
“With our offense, we’ve got to start taking chances. I can’t sit around and wait for three or four hits in a row. We haven’t been doing that, so we’re going to have to take chances,” Philadelphia manager Pete Mackanin told reporters.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, CSN Philadelphia, FSN Florida
PITCHING MATCHUP: Phillies RH Vince Velasquez (2-4, 5.55 ERA) vs. Marlins LH Justin Nicolino (0-1, 5.40)
Velasquez bounced back a bit from a rough three-game stretch during which he went 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA with a no-decision versus Colorado on Thursday, allowing one run and eight hits while fanning seven over five innings.
Although the 24-year-old is averaging more than a strikeout per inning (52 in 48 2/3 frames), he surrendered a home run for the eighth time in nine turns and sports a 1.46 WHIP.
Giancarlo Stanton is 0-for-8 against Velasquez, who yielded three runs in an April 26 victory to improve to 2-0 with a 2.96 ERA in four career starts against the Marlins.
Nicolino hasn’t taken the mound since May 19, when he was tagged for five runs – including a pair of homers – on seven hits and two walks over four innings in a loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Florida native posted a quality start in his season debut five days earlier, permitting one run on six hits and four walks in six frames versus Atlanta.
Nicolino is 1-0 with a 2.74 ERA in four career appearances (three starts) versus the Phillies.
- The Marlins are 9-0 when allowing two or fewer runs, tied for the third-best such record in the majors.
- After matching a career best by going four straight games without striking out, Philadelphia 1B Tommy Joseph equaled a personal worst by fanning three times in the opener.
- Miami 1B Justin Bour needs one homer in the next two games to become the fourth player in club history to hit 10 in the month of May.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Gracenote contributed to this report.)