Miami Marlins: Fish remain home to face Padres

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Giancarlo Stanton and the Marlins are 3-1 early on. (Frank Couts)

Padres invade South Florida

Another team from the National League West will head to South Florida as the San Diego Padres face the Miami Marlins. Miami used four runs in the eighth inning on Thursday to take the series from the Colorado Rockies, winning three of the first four games in 2014.

At 3-1, the Marlins are currently in second place in the National League East as Miami sits just a half game back of the Washington Nationals. The Marlins’ hot start can be attributed to a much-improved offense and a stellar effort from the bullpen.

After winning their season opener on Sunday night, the San Diego Padres dropped the final two games of the series to the Los Angeles Dodgers. With a record of 1-2, San Diego is in third place in the National League West and two games back of the Dodgers. The Padres have scored the third fewest runs in baseball early, but one of the bright spots for San Diego has been outfielder Seth Smith, who has a pair of home runs.

San Diego won four of the seven meetings between the teams a season ago, but Miami was 3-1 against the Padres at home. The Fish and Friars will play night games on Friday and Saturday before concluding the three-game series with a day game on Sunday.

Marlins Musings

Fernandez Picks Up Where He Left Off
After a solid 2013 campaign in which he earned National League Rookie of the Year, Marlins’ right-hander Jose Fernandez picked up right where he left off in the season opener. Fernandez became the youngest Marlin pitcher to start on Opening Day and with his grandma from Cuba watching him pitch in person for the first time since his teenage years, Fernandez was stellar. Over six innings, Fernandez allowed just a run on five hits while striking out nine without allowing a walk. Miami cruised to a 10-1 victory — its first Opening Day win since 2011.

McGehee Providing Protection
This offseason, the Miami Marlins sought to add protection for Giancarlo Stanton in the lineup and to this point, third baseman Casey McGehee has done that and more. After spending last season in Japan, McGehee has hit the ground running in Miami. In his Marlins debut on Monday, McGehee drove in four runs before adding three in the series finale against Colorado on Thursday. In four games with the Marlins, McGehee is hitting .462 while leading baseball with 8 RBIs.

Pitching Match-ups
Friday – Eric Stults (SD) 0-0, 0.00 ERA vs. Tom Koehler (MIA) 0-0, 0.00 ERA
Saturday – Andrew Cashner (SD) 0-0, 1.50 ERA vs. Jose Fernandez (MIA) 1-0, 1.50 ERA
Sunday – Ian Kennedy (SD) 0-1, 5.40 vs. Nathan Eovaldi (MIA) 1-0, 3.00 ERA

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