PITTSBURGH (Gracenote) — The Miami Marlins got the bats working recently and are beginning to pound the ball while inching their way toward .500.
The Marlins will try to pull off their fourth straight win and clinch a series victory when they visit the Pittsburgh Pirates for the third of a four-game series on Saturday.
Miami won 10 of its last 13 games to improve to 27-33 and is averaging 7.1 runs in those 10 victories, capped by a 12-7 drubbing on Friday.
Giancarlo Stanton bashed his 16th home run in Friday’s win and the Marlins continued to get contributions from other sources on offense, with Tyler Moore knocking a pair of home runs in the win to improve to 7-for-12 with six RBIs in the last three contests.
The Pirates are struggling on the mound and watched starters Gerrit Cole and Tyler Glasnow combining to allow 14 runs – 13 earned – in 8 2/3 innings over the first two games of the series.
Pittsburgh will try to take some pressure off the bullpen with a better effort on Saturday from starter Trevor Williams, who opposes Marlins righty Dan Straily.
TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, FSN Florida (Miami), ROOT (Pittsburgh)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins RH Dan Straily (4-4, 3.59 ERA) vs. Pirates RH Trevor Williams (3-3, 4.57)
Straily had a string of three straight wins come to an end last time out, when he suffered the loss at the Chicago Cubs despite allowing three runs in seven innings. The 28-year-old yielded three or fewer earned runs in each of his last six outings and owns 69 strikeouts in 67 2/3 innings overall. Straily is making his 11th appearance – eighth start – against Pittsburgh and is 3-3 with a 3.83 ERA in his previous chances.
Williams has been immune to the Pirates’ pitching woes of late and allowed three or fewer runs in each of his last five turns. The rookie out of Arizona State tossed a career-high seven innings at the New York Mets on Sunday and allowed one run and seven hits to earn the win. Williams came out of the bullpen at Miami on April 30 and allowed one run on one hit and two walks in two-thirds of an inning to suffer the loss.
1. Marlins 2B Dee Gordon is 6-for-16 with five runs scored in the last three games.
2. Pittsburgh removed LHP Tony Watson from the closer role and will split the role between LHP Felipe RIvero and RHP Juan Nicasio.
3. Miami LF Marcell Ozuna recorded multiple hits in nine of his last 14 games.
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