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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Marlins look to record a series victory at home for the first time in nearly one month on Thursday when they play the rubber match of the three-game set versus the Kansas City Royals.

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Miami, which took two of three from visiting Philadelphia on July 25th-27th, has won four of five overall to remain 1 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the second wild-card spot in the National League.

Christian Yelich had a two-run single in the Marlins’ 3-0 triumph on Wednesday to up his total to eight hits – including three homers – and seven RBIs and four runs scored in his last eight games. While the Marlins remain in the conversation for their first postseason berth since then-Florida won the World Series in 2003, the reigning champions saw their nine-game winning streak end and fell five games behind Baltimore for the second wild-card spot in the American League.

Paulo Orlando is struggling to get back on track with one hit in each of his last three games, but has struck out 12 times in his last six. Prior to that stretch, Orlando had eight hits and four RBIs in his previous three games.

PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals Edinson Volquez (9-10, 5.04 ERA) vs. Marlins Tom Koehler (9-8, 3.82)

Volquez’s string of consecutive rough outings extended to five on Friday as the 33-year-old Dominican yielded four runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings in a no-decision versus Minnesota. Volquez is 1-2 in that stretch with a gaudy 7.16 ERA, allowing 26 runs on 41 hits with six homers. Volquez is singing a much happier tune when facing the Marlins, against whom he improved to 6-0 with a 1.64 ERA in his career after permitting just one hit over seven scoreless innings in his last encounter in 2014.

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Koehler has really put it together of late, posting a 3-0 mark with a 1.62 ERA over his last six outings. The 30-year-old, who has accepted back-to-back no-decisions in his last two trips to the mound, has allowed nine runs on 26 hits and struck out 30 over his last 39 innings. Koehler recorded a vastly different result in his lone meeting with the Royals, yielding five runs on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings to take the loss.

WALK-OFFS

1. Miami acquired OF Jeff Francoeur from Atlanta in a three-team trade on Wednesday, but will need to make a move to create roster space for the veteran.

2. Kansas City RHP Kelvin Herrera has retired 17 consecutive batters.

3. Royals SS Alcides Escobar is 3-for-8 in the series and has recorded multi-hit performances in three of his last five games.

PREDICTION: Royals 4, Marlins 2

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