Marlins Turn To Koehler Hoping To Leave St. Louis With 3 Straight Wins

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ST. LOUIS (CBSMiami) – The Miami Marlins have an opportunity leave St. Louis on a very high note and continue their 10-game road trip with a spring in their step.

A win over the host Cardinals on Thursday would send Miami to the west coast having won three straight and four of five.

The Marlins got a major power boost on Wednesday thanks to the team’s All-Star representatives.

2016 Home Run Derby champion Giancarlo Stanton cracked two home runs in the win while All-Star starter Marcell Ozuna went deep, as did fellow Derby contestant Justin Bour.

Both teams will be monitoring their bullpens very closely after Miami used six relievers on Wednesday and St. Louis used five.

The Marlins have used their best relief pitchers, Kyle Barraclough, David Phelps and closer A.J. Ramos, on consecutive days.

Their availability for a third straight day could be in question, especially considering Miami will begin a series in San Francisco on Friday.

GAME INFO: First pitch 1:45 ET, Busch Stadium

PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (1-3, 8.33 ERA) vs. Cardinals RHP Michael Wacha (5-3, 4.16)

Koehler will be looking to get back on track after a disastrous return to the big leagues in his last start. He gave up seven runs on six hits and two walks in just 1 2/3 innings.

The 31-year-old had spent over a month in New Orleans with Miami’s Triple-A affiliate before getting another shot with the Marlins.

During his career, Koehler has struggled against St. Louis, losing three of his four decisions and holding a massive 7.62 ERA in those games.

Michael Wacha appeared to be going down a path similar to Koehler’s but the Cardinals starter has recently turned things around.

After going five starts in which he posted an 8.86 ERA, Wacha has put together consecutive quality starts including a season-high nine strikeout performance his last time out.

St. Louis has won four of Wacha’s last five appearances.  He’s started just two games against the Marlins during his career, going 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA.

ROUNDING THE BASES

  • The Cardinals have allowed the Marlins to score seven unearned runs so far in the series.
  • St. Louis rookie outfielder Tommy Phan is hitting .400 with seven RBIs over his past four games.
  • Wacha has been lights out at home this season, holding a 5-1 record with a 2.91 ERA in 10 starts at Busch Stadium.
  • Bour is one of five players in the running for the National League Final Vote with the winner getting spot in next week’s All-Star Game. Voting ends Thursday at 4 p.m.
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