PHILADELPHIA (CBSMiami) – Don’t look now but the Miami Marlins have snuck back into the National League playoff race.
The Marlins have been one of the hottest teams in baseball over the past few months, climbing all the way to within two games of .500 after falling as far as 13 games below in late May.
Winners in seven of their last nine, the Marlins will look to keep the good times rolling on Tuesday when they open a four-game set against the last pace Philadelphia Phillies.
Thanks to a rainout on April 25, the series will begin with a doubleheader.
A big part of Miami’s surge has been slugger Giancarlo Stanton.
He is pacing the majors with 45 home runs and has gone deep seven times over his last 10 games.
GAME INFO (Game 1): First pitch 4:05 PM, Citizens Bank Park
PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins RHP Dan Straily (7-8, 3.80 ERA) vs. Phillies RHP Aaron Nola (9-8, 3.26)
Straily was Miami’s most reliable pitcher for a big chunk of the season but has fallen on hard times of late.
He is winless over his last seven starts, earning an 0-4 record with a 5.20 ERA during that span.
One of Straily’s best outings of the year came on May 31 against the Phillies when he struck out 10 batters in a 10-2 victory.
The 28-year-old seems to prefer pitching during the day. He holds a 2-2 record with a tidy 3.46 ERA during seven daytime starts this season and actually requested that he get the nod during the day game.
Nola’s last start ended one heck of a stretch for the young righty.
He allowed five runs in five innings last Thursday, snapping a streak of 10 consecutive games in which he gave up two runs or less.
Perhaps the Phillies most consistent starter, Nola has struck out 128 batters in 124 1/3 innings this season.
During his career, Nola is 1-1 against the Marlins with a nice 2.74 ERA over four starts.
GAME INFO (Game 2): First pitch (tentatively) 7:35 PM*, Citizens Bank Park
PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins RHP Jose Urena (11-5, 3.61 ERA) vs. Phillies RHP Nick Pivetta (4-8, 6.25)
Urena has emerged as the Marlins staff ace this season.
He holds a 4-1 record over his last six starts and is coming off a strong outing against the San Francisco Giants in which he allowed just one unearned run in five innings.
During his career Urena has faced the Phillies seven times, including three starts, and holds an 0-2 record and a massive 7.02 ERA.
Pivetta was recalled just to pitch in the doubleheader and will be Philadelphia’s 26th man on the roster.
He was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley last week after giving up three runs on five hits while striking out 11 in a loss against San Diego.
The 11 strikeouts were a career-high for Pivetta.
He’s allowed 19 home runs over his 18 starts in 2017 and his 6.25 ERA is the highest among Phillies pitchers that have at least 10 starts this season.
ROUNDING THE BASES
- Phillies rookie Rhys Hoskins has hit five home runs in his first 11 MLB games.
- Stanton has five homers and eight RBIs in seven games against Philadelphia this year.
- Marcell Ozuna has picked up an RBI in each of his last four games and in six of eight overall.
- After going over two weeks without a stolen base, Dee Gordon has swiped three bags in Miami’s last two games. He has 43 on the season.
*The second game will begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.