Miami Marlins: Fish eye first road win in Philly

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Jose Fernandez will be on the mound for Miami on Friday. (Paul Hadsall)

Marlins resume road trip against Phillies

After being swept in the nation’s capital, the Miami Marlins will conclude a six-game road trip with a visit to Philadelphia for three games against the Phillies. Like the Marlins, the Philadelphia Phillies are also coming off a series in which they were swept. Philadelphia dropped three straight games at home to the Milwaukee Brewers.

Miami will look for its first road victory of 2014 in Philadelphia and to end a four-game slide after a surprising 5-1 start. The Marlins currently sit at 5-5 and in third place in the National League East — 2.5 games back of the first place Nationals. At 3-6, the Phillies are in last place in the division at four games back.

The good news for Miami is that its ace will be on the hill for the series opener in the, “City of Brotherly Love”. Jose Fernandez will look to continue his stellar start as the 21-year-old right-hander is 2-0 with a 0.71 ERA after two starts.

A key for the Miami rotation will be slowing down hot-hitting second baseman Chase Utley. In seven games for Philadelphia this season, Utley is hitting .464 with a pair of home runs. Utley had been fighting an illness, but returned to the lineup in Thursday’s loss to Milwaukee.

The series in Philadelphia will open on Friday night. The Marlins and Phillies will also play a night game on Saturday before concluding the series with a Sunday afternoon contest.

In 2013, Miami dropped 12 of the 19 meetings with the Philadelphia Phillies. At Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia was 7-3 against the Fish last season.

Marlins Musings

Marlins Allow Slams on Consecutive Days
The Miami Marlins were swept by the Washington Nationals, but were put away in the exact fashion over the final two games of the set — with eighth inning grand slams. In the bottom of the eighth on Wednesday, Miami clung to a 7-6 lead before Jayson Werth took a Carlos Marmol pitch deep to left center with the bases loaded. The one-out shot turned out to be the game-winner as the Nationals took down Miami, 10-7. After the Marlins had drawn to within a run on Thursday in the seventh, Washington pushed across an insurance run in the eighth before Ian Desmond came up with the bases full. Facing Arquimedes Caminero, Desmond drove a pitch over the center field wall for Washington’s second grand slam in as many days as the Nats defeated the Marlins, 7-1.

Salty Goes Deep for First Time as a Marlin
Perhaps the most heralded signing of the offseason, catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia had a great homestand to open the year, but had yet to deliver his first blast for Miami. With the Marlins trailing 6-5 in the seventh inning on Wednesday night, Saltalamacchia took a Drew Storen pitch over the center field wall for his first home run as a member of the Miami Marlins. Miami would take the lead an inning later on a RBI double by fellow newcomer Garrett Jones, but the Marlins could not hold the lead as they eventually fell, 10-7. In nine games played for Miami, Saltalamacchia is hitting .276 with four RBIs.

Pitching Match-ups
Friday – Jose Fernandez (MIA) 2-0, 0.71 ERA vs. A.J. Burnett (PHI) 0-1, 3.86 ERA
Saturday – Nathan Eovaldi (MIA) 1-1, 3.46 ERA vs. Jonathan Pettibone (PHI) 0-0, 0.00 ERA
Sunday – Henderson Alvarez (MIA) 0-2, 4.15 ERA vs. Kyle Kendrick (PHI 0-1, 3.75 ERA

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