MIAMI (CBSMiami/Gracenote) – If there is a time during baseball season that a team must struggle, it’s best to do it early.
A forgettable month of May appears to be ending on a high note for the Miami Marlins, but the same cannot be said for the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Marlins have won consecutive series for the first time this season and look to notch their fifth victory in the last six outings Wednesday when they aim for their first three-game sweep of the Phillies in nearly five years.
Miami, which is only 9-18 this month despite its recent surge, tied a season high with its third straight win with Tuesday’s 7-2 victory and appears to be slowly digging out of the 14-27 hole it created for itself, scoring at least seven runs for the third time during its 4-1 stretch.
Marcell Ozuna went 3-for-5 with a solo shot and Giancarlo Stanton continued to thrive out of the No. 2 hole with a two-run blast to help the Marlins improve to 5-2 since he moved up in the order from his usual cleanup spot.
Miami will attempt to earn its first sweep against its National League East rival since June 29-July 1, 2012, on Wednesday – a task that may not be all that difficult considering the Phillies have dropped 24 of their last 30.
Philadelphia has scratched out only six hits through two games in Miami and scored two runs or fewer eight times in its last 10 contests.
TV: 1:10 p.m. ET, MLB Network, NBC 10 (Philadelphia)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Phillies RH Aaron Nola (2-2, 4.34 ERA) vs. Marlins RH Dan Straily (3-3, 3.83)
Nola endured his worst outing of the season in Friday’s 5-2 loss to Cincinnati, surrendering a pair of home runs among the five runs and six hits he gave up in six frames.
The Louisiana native had only yielded one homer over his first four turns and has been much better away from Citizens Bank Park, going 1-1 with a 3.18 ERA (1-1, 6.00 at home).
Nola was sharp against Miami last year despite picking up two no-decisions, permitting three runs over 12 innings while holding the Marlins to a .190 average.
Straily extended his unbeaten streak to four starts with Friday’s win over the Los Angeles Angels, although he allowed more than four hits for the first time in nine turns.
The Marshall product, who ranks second in the majors in batting average against at .176, yielded three runs on six hits across 5 1/3 innings to the Angels and has been dominant at home (2-1, 2.45 ERA, .150 batting average against).
Straily threw five scoreless innings against Philadelphia last year to win his only career start versus the Phillies.
- Tuesday’s defeat guaranteed the Phillies their 10th consecutive series loss – their worst streak in 20 years.
- Since moving up in the order seven games ago, Stanton is 12-for-29 with three homers and seven RBIs.
- Ozuna, who has eight hits in his last four games despite going 0-for-4 in Monday’s series opener, entered Tuesday 0-for-12 against Philadelphia this season.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Gracenote contributed to this report.)