MIAMI (CBSMiami) – After a forgettable few days in our nation’s capital, the Miami Marlins return home looking to get back on the winning track that saw them climb back into the National League Wild Card race last week.
The Marlins trail the NL’s final playoff spot by 5 ½ games with over a month to go in the season and begin a seven-game homestand Thursday night against the lowly Philadelphia Phillies.
Miami played a four-game set in Philly last week and came away with three wins. They’ll look for a repeat performance this weekend at Marlins Park.
Despite being swept by the NL East-leading Nationals, Miami only dropped one game in the Wild Card race and now enters a very favorable stretch of their schedule.
11 of Miami’s next 14 games against the Philles and Atlanta Braves, two teams who have struggled mightily during the second half of the season.
GAME INFO: First pitch 7:10, Marlins Park
PITCHING MATCHUPS: Phillies RHP Ben Lively (1-5, 4.36 ERA) vs. Marlins RHP Odrisamer Despaigne (0-1, 3.70)
Lively has been auditioning to be part of Philadelphia’s rotation next season.
He had been doing a solid job before hitting a speed bump his last time out against the Chicago Cubs, allowing six runs in five innings.
His ERA ballooned from 3.70 to 4.36 after that start, the ninth of his MLB career.
Philadelphia is just 2-7 in games that Lively starts but they have scored two runs or less in five of those contests.
Despaigne makes his second consecutive start after a successful outing last week against San Diego.
He surrendered just one run on three hits over six innings.
Despaigne has pitched well at Marlins Park, giving up one run in 12 innings pitched inside the Little Havana ballpark.
In 24 1/3 innings this season, Despaigne has struck out 13 hitters while issuing 12 walks.
ROUNDING THE BASES
- Rookie Rhys Hoskins has gone three games without a home run after going deep in five straight and six of seven.
- Giancarlo Stanton had just one hit during the three games in DC, his MLB-leading 51st home run of the season.
- Stanton has hit 18 home runs during the month of August, which ties an MLB record.
- Dee Gordon has four straight multi-hit games and is 11-for-25 with six runs and four stolen bases over his last six starts.